Council Tax Discounts & Exemptions
Council Tax is made up of two halves; 50% is the property element & 50% is the personal element. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for help with your Council Tax payments.
For example, discounts or exemptions may apply for properties where only one adult lives at or if the house has been adapted for a disabled person. There are also some buildings that are exempt from Council Tax.
To ensure that discounts and exemptions applied to Council Tax accounts are correct, we regularly complete data matching exercises and are currently working with our partner, Northgate, reviewing customer eligibility for Single Person Discounts (SPD) and you may receive a review letter - an example of which is here [123kb].
Council Tax reforms from 1 April 2013
From 1st April 2013 Council Tax and Housing Benefits legislation changed in line with the Welfare Reform Act 2012. This allowed Local Authorities to determine the levels of discounts or premiums to be applied to certain exemptions and properties.
Following feedback from a public consultation, running between 25th June 2012 and 16th September 2012, a full Council meeting was held on 14th January 2013. At this meeting it was agreed that the following changes would take affect from 1st April 2013.
Class A exemption (up to 12 months) - Properties requiring or undergoing major repair or structural alteration
Class A exemptions (which applied for a maximum period of 12 months to unoccupied and mainly unfurnished properties requiring or undergoing major repair work or structural alteration, or have undergone either in the last 6 months since work was substantially completed) have now been abolished. Therefore, no (0%) discount will be applied from 1st April 2013 and so full (100%) Council Tax applies.
Class C exemption (up to 6 months) - Properties which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished
Class C exemptions have now been abolished. Therefore, no (0%) discount will be applied from 1st April 2013 and so full (100%) Council Tax applies from the date the property becomes unoccupied.
The 10% discount previously applied to second homes has been abolished. Therefore, no (0%) discount will be applied from 1st April 2013 and so full (100%) Council Tax applies to second homes.
Empty Homes Premium
Changes to council tax legislation allows councils to levy an empty homes premium of no more than 50% of the full council tax to long term empty property (a property that has stood unoccupied and substantially unfurnished fro at least 2 years).
The Council has set a premium of 50% from 1 April 2013 which means that such properties will be subject to a 150% council tax charge from 1 April 2013.
- it is a criminal offence, under the Fraud Act, to provide a false statement or representation in relation to claiming a discount for which you could be prosecuted.
- if you are awarded a discount you must tell the Council Tax Team of any change of circumstances which effects your entitlement within 21 days of the change occurring. If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a penalty.