You’ll need to know 3 things:
You may be able to get Council Tax Reduction (this used to be called Council Tax Benefit) if you’re on a low income or get benefits.
You can challenge your Council Tax band if you think your home is in the wrong valuation band.
Your property may be put in a different band in some circumstances, for example if:
Ask the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) if you want to know if changes to your property will affect your Council Tax band.
You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over.
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.
Some people are not counted (‘disregarded’) when working out how many people live in a property. This means you might be able to apply for a discount on your Council Tax bill if you get one.
You’re disregarded if you’re:
You need to apply for a Council Tax discount or an exemption, even if you’re disregarded.
You’ll get 50% off your bill if everyone living in your household is disregarded.
You’ll get 25% off your bill if you pay Council Tax and either:
Contact your local council if you’re unsure about whether you can get a discount or who’s responsible for paying.
To show that you do not qualify as an adult for Council Tax, you’ll need a declaration from your employer stating that:
You must contact your local 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:
If you study for a qualification up to A level and you’re under 20, your course must:
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.
You might be able to apply for a Council Tax discount or exemption if you or someone you live with is disabled.
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:
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.
Check if you qualify 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:
You’ll get a 100% discount if you qualify as severely mentally impaired and one of the following applies:
There’ll be a 50% discount on the council tax bill if everyone else in your household is ‘disregarded’.
You’ll get a 25% discount if you live with someone who qualifies as severely mentally impaired and either:
You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax on a property you own or rent that’s not your main home, such as holiday homes.
Your council can decide to give you a discount – it’s up to them how much you can get. Contact your council to ask about a discount.
You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax on an empty home, but your council can decide to give you a discount – the amount is up to them. Contact your council to ask about a discount.
You can be charged an extra amount of Council Tax (a ‘premium’) if your home has been empty for 2 years or more.
How much you pay will depend on how long the property has been empty. You can be charged up to 4 times your normal Council Tax bill if your home has been empty for 10 years or more.
You will not have to pay the empty home premium if either:
The rules are different in Scotland.
If you’re selling a property on behalf of an owner who’s died, you do not need to pay Council Tax until after you get probate as long as the property remains empty. After probate is granted, you may be able to get a Council Tax exemption for another 6 months if the property is both:
Some homes do not get a Council Tax bill for as long as they stay empty. They include homes:
You may get a discount if your home is undergoing major repair work or structural changes, for example your walls are being rebuilt.
Your council will tell you when you have to start paying Council Tax if you’ve been carrying out major home improvements on an empty property or building a new property.
You’ll get a ‘completion notice’ that tells you the date you must start paying Council Tax.
Your property’s only considered derelict if it:
You can challenge your Council Tax band if you think a derelict property should be removed from the Council Tax valuation list.
Your Council Tax bill tells you:
The cost is usually split into 10 monthly payments. Contact your local council immediately if you’re having trouble paying – they can help you, for example by spreading your payments over 12 months instead of 10.
The council can take action to reclaim any debts you owe if you get behind with your payments.
You can usually pay your Council Tax online.
You can also use ‘Paypoint’, ‘Payzone’ or ‘Quickcards’ for cash payments at post offices, banks, newsagents and convenience stores.
Check your bill to find out which other payment methods you can use.
Contact your local council if you’ve paid too much Council Tax and have not received an automatic refund.
Local councils in England are paying £150 to households in Council Tax band A to D.
Most people have now been paid.
You get £150 per household if you paid Council Tax on your main home on 1 April 2022 and it’s in Council Tax band A, B, C or D. Check your Council Tax band.
Some households who do not have to pay Council Tax can still get the £150. This includes:
If you receive Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Local Council Tax Support) or a Council Tax discount, you will also get the rebate.
Councils started making payments in April 2022 and will be paying the rebate until 30 September 2022.
If you pay by Direct Debit, most councils will pay the £150 directly into your bank account.
If you do not pay your Council Tax bill by Direct Debit, you may need to make a claim. If you have not been told how to do this, contact your local council.
Some councils will credit your Council Tax account or give you vouchers.
Help with Council Tax payments is also available in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Contact your local council or check their website for more information.
Your local council may be able to give you more money, even if you’ve already been paid the £150. Contact your local council for more information.
For more information see; How Council Tax works: Working out your Council Tax – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)