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Council Tax

You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home.

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

You’ll get 25% off your bill if you count as an adult for Council Tax and either:

  • you live on your own
  • no-one else in your home counts as an adult

You’ll usually get a 50% discount if no-one living in your home, including you, counts as an adult.

You will not have to pay any Council Tax if everyone in your home, including you, is a full-time student.

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You might be able to apply for a Council Tax discount or exemption if you or someone you live with is disabled.

Disabled Band Reduction Scheme

You may be eligible for the scheme if you live in a larger property than you would need if you or another occupant were not disabled.

If you qualify, your bill will be reduced to the next lowest Council Tax band. For example, if your property is in Band D, you’ll pay the Band C rate. If your home is already in the lowest band (Band A), you’ll get a 17% discount on your Council Tax bill instead.

You’ll have to show that you have either:

  • an extra bathroom, kitchen or other room that you need for the disabled person
  • extra space inside the property for using a wheelchair

The property must be the main home of at least 1 disabled person. This can be an adult or a child - it does not have to be the person responsible for paying the Council Tax.

How to apply

Check if you qualify (opens in a new page) for the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme.

You might be able to apply for a discount on your Council Tax bill if you or someone you live with is severely mentally impaired.

You’ll need to:

What you’ll get

You’ll get a 100% discount if you qualify as severely mentally impaired and one of the following applies:

  • you live on your own
  • the only other person you live with is a carer (and they’re not your partner, spouse or child under 18)
  • any other adults in your household either qualify as severely mentally impaired or are full-time students

You’ll get a 25% discount if you live with someone who qualifies as severely mentally impaired and either:

How to apply

Check if you qualify(opens a new page) for a Council Tax discount.

 

These people are not counted as adults for Council Tax:

  • children under 18
  • people on some apprentice schemes
  • 18 and 19-year-olds in full-time education
  • full-time college and university students
  • young people under 25 who get funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • student nurses
  • foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • people with a severe mental impairment
  • live-in carers who look after someone who is not their partner, spouse, or child under 18
  • diplomats

People on apprentice schemes

To show that you do not qualify as an adult for Council Tax, you’ll need a declaration from your employer stating that:

  • you will not be paid more than £195 a week
  • the training leads to a qualification accredited by a body recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) or the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SVEC)

If you get a Council Tax discount by mistake

You must tell your council. If you do not, you could get a fine.

The council may ask you to pay back the discount.

Households where everyone’s a full-time student do not have to pay Council Tax. If you do get a bill, you can apply for an exemption.

To count as a full-time student, your course must:

  • last at least 1 year
  • involve at least 21 hours study per week

If you study for a qualification up to A level and you’re under 20, your course must:

  • last at least 3 months
  • involve at least 12 hours study per week

You’ll get a Council Tax bill if there’s someone in your household who’s not a full-time student, but your household might still qualify for a discount.

Last updated: 06/11/2020