Council Tax Bill Exemptions
The domestic council tax is a local taxation which is collected by your local authority. It is a tax per household, rather than a tax on the individual, and the only factors affecting the standard council tax bill are the authority that you live in and the value of your house (valued on 1st April 1991).
However there are a number of circumstances where you will be able to claim an exemption from paying all or some of your council tax bill
Council Tax Bill Exemption For Property
Property which is empty. This means it has to be unoccupied. The property also has to be substantially unfurnished. The exemption applies for a maximum of six months and the property has to be vacant for the whole of this period (although up to six weeks of occupation during the period is allowed)
Property which is empty because it needs major repair work or modifications to make possible to live in. This council tax exemption applies for a maximum of 12 months whether the work is actually finished or not by then
A house which has been re-possessed by a mortgage lender
Property left empty because the person who lived there has now moved because they need to be looked after, for example, in hospital, in a care home or with relatives
Property which is empty because the people who lived there are now caring for someone else
Property that only students live in. This may be a hall of residence, or a house a caravan or boat which is used as a main residence but which is unoccupied. This exemption lasts for up to six months.
A caravan or holiday boat is exempt if it's on a property where council tax is paid
A property where all the people who live in it are aged under eighteen
Property which is occupied only by people with a severe mental disability
A self-contained ‘granny flat' where the person who lives in it is a dependent relative of the owner of the main property.
Special Council Tax Discounts
Discounts are available if there is someone living in the household who is substantially and permanently disabled. In this case the reduction is made not with a percentage reduction, but by charging council tax at a lower valuation band than the one the property is officially in. Usually the discount is made by reducing the band rating by 1. i.e a Band C house will be charged at Band B prices. Usually you will be required to provide proof of the disability to obtain the council tax reduction.
If there is only one adult living in a property then there is a 25% discount on the council tax bill. In order to calculate the number of people living in a propery there are certain groups of people who are not counted. These are people:
- aged 17 or under
- a prisoner or someone in detention awaiting deportation or under mental health legislation
- 'severely mentally impaired'
- a full-time student on a qualifying course of education
- a non- British Citizen who is not allowed either to work in the UK or claim benefit
- a young person on a government training scheme or following some kinds of apprenticeship
- a long-term hospital patient or care home resident
- living in a hostel which provides care or treatment because of your old age, physical or mental disability, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental illness
- living in a bail or probation hostel
- a live-in care worker
- staying in a hostel or night shelter, for example, in a Salvation Army or Church Army hostel
- a school or college leaver aged under 20 and you have left school or college after 30 April. You will be disregarded until 1 November of the same year whether or not you take up employment
- aged 18 and someone is entitled to Child Benefit for you
- a member of a religious community
- a member of a visiting armed force. Your dependants are also disregarded.
The council will not count young persons who are 18 or 19 years old and are in full time education (other than higher education). This includes people who are at school or college and are on courses up to and including A-level standard.
You will also not be counted if you have a young person aged at least 18 and you are getting Child Benefit for them or would be, if they were not in care.
You will not be counted if you are a member of a religious group or community, provided that you depend on the religious group for your subsistance, material needs and have no personal income or savings.
A person who is liable to pay council tax may be able to claim Council Tax Benefit. The amount of benefit they may get will depend on their income and capital. If you have savings of over £16,000 you will not be able to claim Council Tax Benefit
Furnished holiday homes or second homes will be liable for council tax but will have a 10% - 50% discount because no one lives there on a permanent basis. This depends on the policy of the local authority where your holiday home or second home is located.
Living Arrangement Council Tax Exemptions
There are certain living arrangements that are exempt from paying council tax completely. These include:
If you live permanently in a hotel - you will not be liable for council tax on the property although the hotel charges would probably include an amount towards any council tax payable
If you have more than one home - you will probably pay a reduced council tax on your second home (if no-one lives there) and a full council tax on your main home
If you own caravans or mobile homes - if you live permanently in a caravan or mobile home, you will pay the council tax. If you have a caravan that you let out as a business, you have to pay business rates, not council tax. Towing caravans kept at your home will not be subject to either council tax or business rate
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