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Personal and household finance

Help with Council Tax

Council Tax is a tax paid every year to your local authority or council to provide services including policing, rubbish collection and street lighting.

The Council Tax is a flat rate based on the value of your home and not the number of people who live there. Your home will fall into one of eight valuation bands. Each local authority sets its own rate for each of the valuation bands.

All homes may qualify for a reduction or be exempt from Council Tax for a limited period. It is assumed that two or more adults aged over 18 live in the home. Some people living in the house can be 'ignored' and this can mean you're entitled to a discount on your Council Tax.

Only one payment is required for each home whether it's a house, flat, bungalow, maisonette, mobile home, houseboat or other place that you live in.

How your Council Tax bill can be reduced

Not everyone has to pay the full Council Tax. As a carer you may be able to reduce your Council Tax bill or pay nothing at all if you or your home qualifies for one or more of the following:

  • A 25% discount if there is only one person living in your home or, because some people who live there have been 'ignored' and only one person is counted as living in your home.
  • A 50% discount if there is no one in your home or, because all the people who live there have been 'ignored', no person is counted as living in your home.
  • Council Tax reductions if the space in your home is used in a particular way for a disabled adult or child and you qualify for the council tax disability reduction scheme.
  • Council Tax exemption if your home fits into specific categories including being empty, or being a self-contained dwelling within your property (see the Exemptions link, above).

None of these ways of reducing your Council Tax bill are means tested. You can get these reductions regardless of your income and savings and those of any family that you live with.

Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax Benefit no longer exists. It was replaced by Council Tax Reduction in April 2013. You’ll get money off your Council Tax bill if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction.

The official online source of government information on benefits is GOV.UK.

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Page last reviewed: 22/06/2011

Next review due: 21/06/2013

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