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Council Tax disregards

If you are the sole adult resident in a property we can reduce your bill by 25%. However, some residents are disregarded (not counted) when calculating how many persons are living at a property. Where all residents are disregarded a 50% discount is granted.

The disregard categories are listed below.

Unless specified otherwise, please select your local area to apply:

The following criteria must apply for a person to be disregarded as an apprentice under Council Tax legislation.

They must be:

  • employed for the purpose of learning a trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation
    • for that purpose undertaking a programme of training leading to a qualification accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

and

  • employed at a salary, in receipt of an allowance or both (if the total is substantially less than the salary they would be likely to receive if they had achieved the qualification in question); 

and

  • receiving no more than £195 per week

How it is calculated

The Council Tax charge is based upon the number of people living in a dwelling. If you are "disregarded" as being an apprentice, it means that we do not count you when we work out the number of people living there.

  • when counting the number of people living in a dwelling, if there is just one person living there, a 25% discount may be granted
  • if all the residents at a dwelling are "disregarded" a 50% discount may be granted
  • if there are two or more residents in a household who are not entitled to status discount, the discount will not apply and the full Council Tax charge will be payable

What happens if you qualify

If you qualify, we will amend your account and send you a reduced bill.

You must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. the apprenticeship ends, or another adult moves into the house). Failure to do so may result in a penalty. 

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if he or she has their sole or main residence in a dwelling which:

  • is for the time being, providing residential accommodation, whether as a hostel or night shelter or otherwise
  • is predominantly provided in units that are not self-contained, for persons of no fixed abode and no settled way of life and under licences to occupy which do not constitute tenancies

In these cases the person who is liable to pay the Council Tax will probably be the owner of the hostel or night shelter.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount. Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax if they are a member, or a dependant of a member, of an international headquarters or defence organisation.

The organisations concerned are those currently designated by an Order in Council under the International Headquarters and Defence Organisations Act 1964.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if they are a member of a religious community, the principal occupation of which consists of:

  • prayer
  • contemplation
  • education
  • the relief of suffering
  • or any combination of the above; and
  • have no income or capital of their own (disregarding any income by way of a pension in respect of former employment) and
  • are dependent on the community to provide for their material needs

This class could include monks and nuns living in a monastery or a convent but also includes members of any religion living in a religious community.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if:

  • they are under the age of 20; and
  • they have, after 30 April and before 1 November in any year, ceased to undertake a full-time course of education or a qualifying course of education

Young people leaving school or college, some of whom will be disregarded as students when courses begin in October each year, are not counted for Council Tax for a few weeks before becoming a student if they happen to have reached the age of 18.

The person will be disregarded until 1 November under any circumstances in the year of leaving school or college.

Example qualifying person

Q. My son is taking A-Levels in the sixth form, and is currently disregarded as I receive Child Benefit for him. His Child Benefit ends in the summer, and he intends to go to university in September. Does this disregard apply to him?
A. Yes. Your son will be disregarded as being in receipt of Child Benefit until the date it ends. He will then continue to be disregarded as a school leaver until 1 November, or the date that he qualifies for disregard as being a full time student at university.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if that person is associated, within the meaning of the Visiting Forces Act 1952, with a body, contingent or detachment of the forces of a country, to which the Act applies.

A person has a relevant association with a visiting force if he or she is:

  • a member of that force, or a member of a civilian component of the force or
  • a dependant of a member, provided that the dependant is not a British citizen or is not ordinarily resident in the UK

If any person who would be liable to pay the Council Tax is a person associated with a visiting force, the property is exempt, even though other people may also live there.

This disregard applies where the person associated with the visiting force is not a liable person for Council Tax (for example, where a member of a visiting force is lodging in a property).

Example non-qualifying person

Q. I am a British Citizen, working at the base of a Visiting Force. Do I qualify for disregard?
A. No, the disregard does not apply to anyone who is a British citizen.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if:

  • they are the spouse or dependant of a student and
  • they are not a British citizen and are prevented by immigration rules from “taking paid employment or from claiming benefits”

An all-student household is exempt from Council Tax, including dwellings where a student has a foreign spouse or dependant living with them.

Example qualifying person

Q. My partner is prevented from receiving benefits, but may take paid employment. Do they qualify for disregard?
A. Yes: to qualify for disregard the spouse or dependant may be prevented from either taking paid employment or receiving benefits.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or the spouse leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A property where a diplomat is liable to pay the Council Tax is exempt; however, where a diplomat lives in the home of another person who is liable to pay Council Tax, the diplomat is disregarded.

A diplomat is defined as a person:

  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964
  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1966
  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Consular Relations Act 1968
  • who is within a class of persons mentioned in relation to any organisation specified in an Order in Council made under the International Organisations Act 1968
  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1985
  • is the head of any office described in the Hong Kong Economic Trade Act 1966 

Example non-qualifying person

Q. My partner is a British citizen, and is a diplomat stationed abroad. Does he qualify for disregard?
A. No. A person does not qualify if he or she is a British citizen

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or the diplomat leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person must be registered with the British Council as a foreign language assistant and have a current appointment as a foreign language assistant at a school or other educational institution in Great Britain.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or the diplomat leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if they are:

  • detained in a prison, a hospital or any other place under a court order
  • detained under immigration controls
  • detained under the mental health acts
  • a member of the armed forces detained in accordance with armed forces legislation

If a person is detained for non-payment of Council Tax or non-payment of a fine related to Council Tax, they are not disregarded.

A property that is unoccupied as the usual occupier is detained is exempt from paying Council Tax.

Example non-qualifying status

Q. If I am held in police custody can I qualify for disregard?
A. No. The disregard may only be granted if a court has remanded a person into custody

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

This disregard refers to hospitals that have a liability to pay Council Tax, and not to the homes of persons who reside in hospitals.
A person who has their sole or main residence (ie their home) in a hospital is disregarded for Council Tax purposes.

In these cases it will be the hospital that is liable to pay Council Tax, but the bill may qualify for discount disregard.

A hospital is classed as:

  • an NHS hospital within the meaning of the National Health Service Acts
  • a military hospital

Example non-qualifying person

Q. My mother now lives permanently in a hospital. Does she qualify for this disregard?
A. No; however, a property that is empty as the liable person has moved permanently from the property into residential care or a hospital is exempt from Council Tax.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

Where a resident is aged 18 years or over, but is entitled to child benefit, they are disregarded for Council Tax purposes.

Example qualifying people

Q. I used to live on my own, but my daughter is now 18 and still at school studying for A-levels. Do I qualify for a single person discount?
A. No, as there are now two persons over 18 living there; however, your daughter will qualify for the disregard if she is still in receipt of child benefit and you will continue to receive a 25% discount.
Q. I qualify for a discount as my son is in receipt of child benefit. When does the discount end?
A. The discount will cease when your son’s child benefit ends; however, you may then qualify for the school or college leaver discount

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

A person who is resident in a care home, and who is permanently receiving care or treatment there, is disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax.

The disregard applies to the care home where the person is resident, and not to the property where that person has moved from.

Where all residents of a property are disregarded (e.g. where all the residents at a care home are receiving care) a 50% discount may be granted.

Example qualifying people

Q. I own a residential care home; do the residents qualify for disregard?
A. Those residents receiving care will be disregarded. Any resident staff, or owners, will not be disregarded. We will confirm with the Care Quality Commission that the dwelling is a registered care home, and ask you to confirm whether there are any residents who are not receiving care.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or someone leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

There are two types of carer (as defined by council tax legislation), the professional carer and the “unpaid carer or relative”.

Either could be entitled to a reduction in their Council Tax provided the following criteria are met.

The professional carer

A person will be disregarded if they are:

  • engaged to provide care and support to a person on behalf of either a local authority, the Common Council of the City of London, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, the Crown or a charitable body
  • employed by a person to whom they are providing care and they were introduced by one of the above
  • employed to provide care for at least 24 hours a week, and are paid no more than £44 per week
  • resident in premises provided either by the relevant body (i.e. the charity) or by the person to whom they are providing care

The unpaid carer or relative

A person will be disregarded if they are:

  • providing care to a person who is in receipt of
    • i. an attendance allowance under section 65 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992(2)*
    • ii. the highest or middle rate of the care component of a disability living allowance under section 72(4)(a) of that Act*
    • iii. an increase in a constant attendance allowance under the proviso to article 14 of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983(3), or under article 14(1)(b) of the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983(4)
    • iv. an increase in the rate of his disablement pension under section 104 of that Act
    • v. the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of personal independence payment under section 78(3) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • resident in the same dwelling as the person to whom they are providing care
  • providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average
  • or if the person for whom they are providing care is over 18 years old and is not the spouse or partner of the carer, or they are providing care to a child under the age of 18 years and they are not the parent of this child

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

Full time students are disregarded when calculating the number of people living in a property for Council Tax discount purposes.

Who is classed as a student

There are three main categories of students for Council Tax purposes:

  1. you are a student if you are undertaking a full-time course at a college or university in the UK
  2. you are under 20 years old in part time or full time education
  3. you are a foreign language assistant - registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and working at a school or other educational establishment

A full-time course is one that:

  1. lasts for at least one academic year or, if the establishment does not have academic years, for at least one calendar year
  2. requires you to normally go to for at least 24 weeks in each academic calendar year
  3. consists of an average of at least 21 hours a week of study, tuition, work experience or a combination of these

This is a general guide to Council Tax and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

How to prove you are a student

You will need to provide Revenues and Benefits with a Certificate of Full Time Education from your school, college or university to prove you are a full-time student. Your college must provide this. You must submit a form for every student in the property.

If a person living at a property is classed as "severely mentally impaired", and they live with other people, that person is "disregarded" from Council Tax. This means we do not count them when calculating the number of people living in the house. If, by not counting that person, the number of people living in the property is just one, a 25% discount may be granted.

How do I qualify?

Firstly you must be in receipt of one of the state benefits listed below:

  • an Incapacity Benefit under Section 30A of the Social Security (Contributions and Benefits) Act 1992
  • an Attendance Allowance under Section 64 of the Act
  • a Severe Disablement Allowance under Section 68 of the Act
  • the Care Component of a Disability Living Allowance under Section 71 of that Act, which should be payable at the middle or highest rate
  • an increase in the rate of his/her Disablement Pension under Section 104 of the Act, where constant attendance is needed
  • a disability Working Allowance under Section 129 of the Act, for which the qualifying benefit is one that falls within subsection (2) (a) (i) or (ii) of that section; or it is a corresponding Northern Ireland benefit
  • an Unemployability Supplement under Part I Schedule 7 to that Act
  • a Constant Attendance under:
    • Article 14 of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme  1983; or
    • Article 14 of the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983
  • an Unemployability Allowance under:
    • Article 18(1) of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983; or
    • Article 18 (1) of the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983
  • income Support where the applicable amount includes a disability premium in respect of which the additional condition in paragraph 12(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Income support (General) Regulations 1987 is satisfied
  • incapacity Benefit under SS40 and 41 of the SSBC Act 1992
  • the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment under section 78(3) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Universal Credit which includes an amount under regulation 27(1) of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 in respect of the fact that the person in question has limited capability for work or limited capability for work and work-related activity or would include such an amount but for regulation 27(4) or 29(4) of those Regulations

Secondly, a qualified medical practitioner (usually your doctor) must confirm to the council that in their medical opinion you are "severely mentally impaired".

What is the definition of "severely mentally impaired"?

"Severely mentally impaired" means a person who has severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused), which appears to be permanent. 

To be classed as a relevant Ukrainian person you must be a person who holds permission to enter or to stay in the UK granted under the homes for Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme route in Appendix Ukraine Scheme of the Immigration rules (5). 

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property or the diplomat leaves). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

How to apply

Email your local area to receive an application form to apply:

A person is a Youth Training Trainee in England if he or she is aged under 25 and undertaking training, pursuant to arrangements made under the Employment and Training Act 1973, which is funded by the Secretary of State under section 14 of the Education Act 2002 or the chief Executive of Skills Funding.

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

Student nurses who are not on a full time course at college or university are disregarded as persons who are following a course leading to an appropriate registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979.

Student nurses in full time education are also disregarded as they are treated as academic students. 

What happens if you qualify

Should you qualify for the reduction you must tell us within 21 days about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to the discount (e.g. another person moves into the property). Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

We will contact you periodically to confirm that you are still entitled to the disregard; however, you must still advise us of any changes in circumstance within 21 days.

This information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

Last updated 03 October 2023