Council Tax payment: Who is eligible for reduction? How to apply for Council Tax discount

Council Tax will usually have to be paid by a person who is aged 18 or older, and who owns or rents their own home. Usually, the cost is split into 10 monthly payments, and the council can take action to reclaim any debts owed if a billpayer gets behind with their payments – something which can be a big worry for some.


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With the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis hitting much of the UK financially, billpayers may be more interested than ever in ways in which they can reduce their expenditure.

For some, this may mean looking into whether they can cut costs when it comes to Council Tax.

There are a number of discount schemes available – what are they?

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home.

Should spouses and partners live together, then they are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

However, if one of the following conditions apply, then the billpayer can get 25 percent off their bill. This is if they count as an adult for Council Tax and either:

  • They live on their own
  • No-one else in the home counts as an adult.

A discount of 50 percent can be applied if no-one living in the home at all counts as an adult.

If everyone in the home is a full-time student, then Council Tax will not need to be paid.

Should this situation apply and they get a bill, it’s possible to apply for an exemption from the local council.

Council Tax: Who does not count as an adult?

In terms of Council Tax, the people not counted as adults are:

  • Children under 18
  • People on some apprentice schemes
  • 18 and 19-year-olds in full-time education
  • Full-time college and university students
  • Young people under 25 who get funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • Student nurses
  • Foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • People with a severe mental impairment
  • Live-in carers who look after someone who is not their partner, spouse, or child under 18
  • Diplomats.


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Discounts for disabled people may also be available, as explains.

The website states: “People who are severely mentally impaired are not included when working out Council Tax.

“You also are not included if you’re a live-in carer looking after someone who is not your partner, spouse, or child under 18.”

It may also be that a person can get a discount if they have a second home or an empty property – but this is down to the relevant council to decide.

“Councils can charge extra Council Tax for empty properties,” adds.

Meanwhile, people who are on a low income or who receive benefits may be able to get what’s known as a Council Tax Reduction – something which used to be called Council Tax Benefit.

In order to apply for a Council Tax discount, the billpayer will need to check with their council to see if they’re eligible for a reduction in the amount of Council Tax they pay.

The “Apply for a Council Tax discount” tool can be accessed on the government website, but this service is available to those in England and Wales only.

To use it, people are directed to enter their postcode, and then press “Find”.

This then returns the council matched with the postcode, and the user can then click to go through to the Council Tax discount section of the relevant council’s website.

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