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Council Tax Exemptions and Deductions

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 13 Feb 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Council Tax Exemptions Deductions

Council Tax is a considerable expenditure; for most people, the standard Council Tax bill will amount to over £1,000 per year. Even when paid in instalments this is still a significant sum, which many people simply cannot afford to pay. As a result, in certain circumstances, it is possible to apply for a deduction or exemption on their Council Tax.

The Full Bill

If you're living in a household with at least two adults, you should pay the full Council Tax bill. Where this is not the case, you may be eligible for a deduction. If the house in question is the main home of only one adult, you will receive a 25% deduction.

It should also be noted that the Council Tax bill does not rise if the number of adults living in the house is more than two. It is also important to remember that the Council Tax bill is calculated by taking into account only those adults for whom the house in question is the main home. As a result, you may also be eligible for a discount if there are no adults living in the house who count it as their main home.

Disabled Band Reduction Scheme

Reductions in the Council Tax bill are also available for disabled people residents who require extra space as a result of their disability. In these cases, the Disabled Band Reduction scheme provides for a reduction in the Council Tax rate if an extra room is required for special needs, or if extra space is needed for wheelchair access indoors. The Disabled Band Reduction scheme effectively reduces the amount of Council Tax payable by one band. This reduction can be applied for through your local council.

Payment Exemptions

Certain houses may be completely exempt from Council Tax. The most common circumstance in which Council Tax will not apply at all is when a house is occupied entirely by students who are engaged in full-time education. This applies when the dwelling is occupied solely by these students either all year round or only in term time. If, however, there are some students and some non-students living in the same dwelling, a reduction to the Council Tax bill will apply. The students will not be eligible, but it is the responsibility of all of the residents to decide how the bill is split up.

Dwellings will also be exempt if they are occupied solely by residents under the age of 18. Similarly, if they are occupied solely by people with a severe mental impairment, Council Tax will not apply.

How to Appeal

Theoretically, if your dwelling is exempt, the council should send you a letter informing you which valuation band the property falls in, and how much your Council Tax bill would otherwise be. In practice, however, residents of exempt properties, or properties for which some or all of the residents are entitled to a discount, frequently receive full bills. In these cases, you should write to your council explaining why your property qualifies for an exemption or deduction. You may have to provide documentary evidence, for example a letter from your educational establishment.

The council then has two months in which to reply. If they continue to claim that you are liable for the full bill, you can take your case to a Valuation Tribunal. Further information on this process is available on the Communities and Local Government website.

For more information on council tax, read What If I Can't Pay My Council Tax and Council Tax And Empty Properties on this site.

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I have started a new job 2nd August after being out of work for over three months (living off benefits and my savings) the money is OK but I just can;t catch up quick enough to pay for everything. My tax code is W1TO and I have emailed HMRC, no reply. I can't afford to sit on my phone for 20 minutes paying £1.53 per minute for the call. Can you help me, how much extra tax may I have been paying and just how do I get this back quickly, REgards A very skint employee
Angel - 17-Sep-14 @ 12:31 AM
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