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Council Tax Discounts and Reductions

Find out about Council Tax discounts, including the new discounts for annexes, exemptions and empty properties.

Single Person Discount

Properties in which only one adult lives will be entitled to a discount of 25%. When deciding how many adults live in a property, for the purpose of this discount, certain people are disregarded as listed below. If all the people living in a property are disregarded a 50% discount will apply.

You can apply for this discount online.

You may be required to provide evidence to show that you have been living alone if you want this discount backdated

Council Tax Disregards

People that will be disregarded when deciding how many adults live in a property include:

  • Children under 18
  • Persons over 18 for whom Child Benefit is still being paid
  • Certain school leavers under the age of 20 and who have finished a full-time course between 1 May and 31 October
  • People with severe mental impairment who are in receipt of certain disability and attendance allowances
  • Qualifying students
  • Certain YTS trainees under the age of 25
  • Student nurses
  • Certain apprentices
  • Long-term/permanent hospital patients
  • Certain people resident in residential care homes, nursing homes or mental nursing home/hostel
  • Most persons in prison
  • Certain care workers
  • Carers i.e. caring for someone they live with other than their spouse, partner or a child under 18

Discounts for Annexes

A discount of 50% has been introduced for properties that:

  • Are annexes and similar properties that are either used together with the main property as someone's home or is the home of someone who is related to the Council Tax Payer for the main property and
  • The annex is subject to the Council Tax because by law any building or part of a building providing separate living accommodation must be separately subject to the tax and where it not for this requirement it would have been included with the main property for Council Tax purposes

Empty Properties

No discount is given to properties that are empty (furnished or unfurnished) and the full tax is payable unless an exemption applies.

Where a taxpayer leaves a property empty and furnished to live in another property for which they are also liable to Council Tax and which is provided by an employer and they are required to occupy it because of the nature of the job, they may be entitled to a 50% discount on their empty property.

From 1 April 2013 any property that has been empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more will attract an additional premium of 50% to pay.

Below is a summary of the changes made in 2013

Property Type

Council Tax before 1 April 2013

Council Tax after April 2013

Furnished property not used as anyone's main home

10% discount leaving 90% to pay

Full Council Tax to pay

Empty and unfurnished for less than 2 years

Exempt for 6 months and then full tax to pay

Full Council Tax to pay throughout

Empty needing or undergoing major repairs for less than 2 years

Exempt for 12 months and then full tax to pay Full Council Tax to pay throughout

Empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more

Full tax to pay

150% of the Council Tax to pay

Unoccupied rented properties - who is liable?

Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 sets out who is liable for the Council Tax and where there are no residents, the owner is liable. However it defines owner in this context as follows:

"owner", in relation to any dwelling, means the person as regards whom the following conditions are fulfilled -.

  1. he has a material interest in the whole or any part of the dwelling; and
  2. at least part of the dwelling or, as the case may be, of the part concerned is not subject to a material interest inferior to his interest;

'Material interest' is defined as "a freehold interest or a leasehold interest which was granted for a term of six months or more".

Exemptions

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. These include:

Empty properties which:

  • are owned by a charity (exempt for up to 6 months)
  • are left empty by someone who has gone into prison, hospital, a nursing home or residential home
  • are left empty because either probate or letters of administration are awaited, or less than 6 months have elapsed since they were granted.  This exemption does not apply if the property has been left to a beneficiary in the deceased’s will. As they have become the new owner they will be liable to the Council Tax
  • are prohibited by law from being occupied
  • are empty awaiting occupation by a minister of religion
  • are in the possession of a mortgagee (the lender of a mortgage, typically a bank, building society) under the mortgage
  • are unoccupied because the resident is providing/receiving care elsewhere (NOTE special rules apply and further information will be supplied on request)
  • are owned by the Secretary of State for Defence for the purposes of armed forces accommodation
  • are liable to a Council Tax charge but where it would be payable by a trustee in bankruptcy
  • is an unoccupied annex which cannot be let separately, because it is part of the main dwelling and where its letting is restricted under planning regulations

Occupied properties where:

  • all the residents are qualifying students
  • they are occupied by a student and where the spouse of a student is not a British Citizen and who is prevented by the terms of their entry visa from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits
  • they are annexes, to other dwellings, solely occupied by dependant relatives of the Council Taxpayer resident in the other dwelling
  • you will need to complete an application form if they are occupied solely by a severely mentally impaired person/s

Student discounts

A person may be disregarded as a student in a number of ways

1. If they are enrolled with an education establishment within the European Union to undertake a course which lasts for at least one academic year and the course requires at least 24 weeks of study, tuition or work experience per year and at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week.

If the student is attending The University of Nottingham or Nottingham Trent University please contact the Council Tax office to apply for a disregard. These Universities supply a list of their students which can be used to quickly confirm student status.

If the student is attending another University or College they need to provide a copy of a student certificate that would be supplied by their University or College. Students at Nottingham University or Nottingham Trent University may also need to provide a certificate if their details are not on the lists provided by these universities.

Note: If a property is only occupied by students a full exemption can be given. To get such an exemption contact the Council Tax office giving details of all the students if they attend The University of Nottingham or Nottingham Trent University or provide copies of their certificates if they attend a different university or college.

2. If they are under twenty years of age, studying for more than three months and at least twelve hours a week for a qualification up to A level, ONC or OND. This does not apply to correspondence courses and evening courses or to courses undertaken as a consequence of their employment.

To apply for this disregard contact the Council Tax Office.

3. If they are a foreign language assistant registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.

To apply for this disregard please provide details in writing to the Council Tax Office.

4. If they are non British spouse or dependant of a student and prevented by the terms of UK entry from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.

To apply for this disregard please provide details in writing to the Council Tax office.

Reduction for People with Disabilities

If you or any member of your household is disabled and your home has at least one of the following features:

  • A second bathroom or kitchen required for meeting the needs of the disabled person
  • A room set aside to provide specific facilities for the disabled person
  • Sufficient room for the disabled person to use their wheelchair indoors

you may qualify for a reduction in your Council Tax bill.

If you qualify for a reduction, the amount of Council Tax payable will be based on the band below the one in which your property has been placed.

Even if your home is in Band A, the lowest band, you may still qualify for a reduction.

How to apply for a Discount, Exemption or Reduction for people with disabilities

If you want to apply for a discount or exemption or want more information contact the Council Tax Office. If you wish to have a discount or exemption backdated you may be required to provide evidence to show you were entitled.

Applications for a reduction for people with disabilities can be made by completing a form.

If you need more information on this reduction please contact the Council Tax Office.

Discounts, Exemptions and reduction for people with disabilities are reviewed regularly. If you receive any of these you must inform the Council Tax Office immediately if your circumstances change.

If you are refused a discount, exemption or reduction for people with disabilities and you disagree with this you do have the right of appeal. Click here for more information about how to appeal.

Contact Us

Customer Contact Centre Central Library Angel Row Nottingham NG1 6HP counciltax@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Tel: 0115 718 1777

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