Council Tax Reduction Scheme
From 1st April 2013, Council Tax Benefit was replaced by a local Council Tax Reduction scheme, which could help towards some, or all, of your council tax bill if you are on a low income (even if you own your own home).
If you are already receiving Council Tax Reduction, you must tell us about any change in circumstances that might affect your award within 21 days, such as changes in income, capital or household members, if you move home or when a child leaves full time education. Failure to do so may lead to action being taken against you, including prosecution.
The full council tax bill for a property assumes that it is the main home of two adults. If it is the main home of only one adult, the bill is reduced by 25%. If the property is no one’s main home and furnished, and qualifies as a job related dwelling, the bill is reduced by 50%.
However, the following people (this may include the person liable for payment) are ignored (“disregarded”) when counting the number of adults living in the property:
- full-time students, student nurses, foreign language assistants or apprentices
- patients resident in a hospital
- people who are resident in a care home
- people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 and 19 year-olds who are at or have just left school/college
- care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
- people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner, or child under 18
- diplomats and members of visiting forces and certain international organisations
- members of religious communities
- people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
- people with dementia and others who are severely mentally impaired
Households containing people with reduced mental capacity – who are severely mentally impaired, including people diagnosed with dementia may be entitled to a reduction in their council tax. To qualify, someone must be medically certified as having a condition that severely affects their intellectual and mental capacity that is permanent, and be entitled at least one of a number of qualifying benefits, inclusive of Attendance Allowance and PIP.
In addition from 1st April 2014, the bill is reduced by 50% where a separate annex is occupied either as part of the main dwelling or by relatives, although a 100% exemption still applies if those relatives are elderly or disabled (see below).
Discounts have been granted based on existing council tax records and will be shown on the front of your bill. If you have not been allowed a discount but think you are entitled to one, you should let us know. If you have been allowed a discount to which you are not entitled, YOU MUST TELL US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE or a penalty of £70 may be imposed.
Some properties are exempt from council tax, including those occupied only by either students, under 18 year olds or the severely mentally impaired, "granny annexes" occupied by elderly/disabled relatives; and those which are unoccupied
Your property may be exempt from Council Tax if:
- owned by a charity (exempt for up to 6 months)
- left empty by someone who has gone into prison
- was previously occupied before being left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or home or elsewhere
- was previously occupied before being left empty by someone who has moved in order to provide personal care to another person
- was previously occupied before being left empty by a student owner
- left empty by someone who has died (exempt for up to 6 months after probate/letters of administration granted)
- has been repossessed
- is the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
- occupation is forbidden by law
- waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
- consists of an empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
- cannot be let separately because of planning controls
Exemptions have been granted based on existing council tax records and will be shown on the front of your bill. If your property has not been treated as exempt but you think it should be, you should let us know. If it is being treated as exempt but should not be, YOU MUST TELL US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE or a penalty of at least £70 may be imposed.
People with Disabilities
If you (or someone living with you) have special needs as a result of a disability and so need a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, or use a wheelchair indoors, you may be entitled to a reduction.
In most cases where a reduction is granted, your bill will be based on the band immediately below that shown for your property in the valuation list. However, properties in Band A receive a reduction of 1/6th of the council tax for that band. Please see explanatory notes below for further details.
This reduction has been granted based on existing council tax records and will be shown on the front of your bill. If you have not been awarded this reduction but think you are entitled to it you should let us know.
To apply for this reduction either use the online form or print, complete and return the downloadable below.