How do discounts work?
The full council tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home) the council tax bill is reduced by a quarter (25%). There are discounts and exemptions that can apply to empty dwellings and second homes. The bill is not increased if there are more than two adults in the dwelling.
If you are the sole occupier of your property and would like to apply for the Single Adult Discount, you can complete the form below or request it online: Request a Single Person Discount
If you are currently claiming a Single Adult Discount and have a change in your circumstances, you can complete the form below or tell us online: Request to amend a Single Person Discount
Job Related Discount on a Second Home - Service Personnel & others
Sedgemoor District Council would like to ensure all Service Personnel, and other qualifying customers are receiving any discount they may be entitled to.
If you live in, and are liable for Council Tax, on a property which your employer requires you to occupy, and you are also liable for Council Tax on a second furnished property, you may qualify for a discount of 50%.
One of the properties must fall into the following categories:-
A The property is provided to you, or to your spouse/civil partner, because of your employment, eg tied accommodation.
B The property is occupied as a residence from which you, or your spouse/civil partner, perform the duties of a Minister of any religious denomination
C You are in the armed forces and have your main residence in the UK in Ministry Of Defence accommodation, which is exempt from Council Tax
Long Term Empty Premium Exceptions
There are also exceptions that apply to Service Personnel that are liable for a Council Tax Premium charge where a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for 24 months or more.
If you think this may apply to you please contact the Revenues Section on 0300 303 7801 or complete the application form at the foot of this page.
Empty Property Discounts
From 1st April 2013 certain statutory exemptions were replaced with locally set discounts. On 12th December 2012 the Council's Executive agreed the following Discount policy:-
|Empty Homes Premium||A long term empty charge of 90% lasts indefinitely until a property is brought back into use.||A Long Term Premium charge of 50% will be applied to properties that have been empty for more than 24 months. This equates to 150% of the Council Tax charge.|
|Long Term Empties - property which is unoccupied and unfurnished and empty for 6 months or more||10% discretionary discount so a 90% Council Tax charge applies||0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply|
|2nd Homes - furnished property but in which no person has their sole or main residence||10% minimum statutory discount so a 90% Council Tax charge applies||0% discount so a Council Tax charge of 100% will apply|
|Class C - unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings||100% exemption for up to 6 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist||100% discount for up to 3 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist. 100% Council Tax charge after 3 months.|
|Class A - vacant property which requires, is undergoing, or has recently undergone major repair work to make it habitable or structural alteration||100% exemption for up to 12 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist||100% discount for up to 12 months whilst the qualifying conditions exist|
|Exemption / Discount||Charges applicable to 31/03/2013||Charges applicable from 01/04/2013|
A dwelling that is furnished and unoccupied as a result of job related employment may be subject to a 50% discount.
Certain people are not counted when looking at the number of adults resident in a dwelling. For example, if there are two adults in a dwelling, and one of them is in one of the special groups set out below, the bill is worked out as if only one adult lives there and is reduced by a quarter. The main conditions for each group are set out below.
To find out if a discount may apply to your home, you should count the number of adults who live there as their main home, but who are not in one of the special groups. If you are left with two or more people, there will be no discount. If there is one person, your bill will be reduced by a quarter. If you are left with no-one, your bill will be reduced by a half.
Am I still liable if I am not counted for the bill?
If you are the liable person and you get a discount or are not counted, your bill may be reduced. But you will still be responsible for paying the smaller amount.
Who is not counted?
Apprentices - You will not be counted if you are an apprentice employed to learn a job and, as part of that learning, are undertaking training leading to a qualification recognised by the National Council for Vocation Qualifications. You must be paid a maximum of £195 per week (before tax) and expect to earn substantially more when you qualify.
Youth training trainees - You will not be counted if you are under 25 and are receiving training in line with an individual training plan under the Youth Training Scheme, such as TCT, Options, Future and Next Step.
Students - You will not be counted if you are a student (or an overseas student) on a full-time or qualifying course of education.
You are a student if you are:
- attending a university or college course which lasts for at least an academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time;
- under the age of 20, and studying for more than three months and at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard. Correspondence courses, evening classes, or courses taken in connection with a person's job, such as on day-release, are not included;
- a student nurse (as stated below); or
- a foreign language assistant registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges are also treated as students.
You will not be counted if you are the spouse or dependent of a student, providing you are not a British citizen, and are prevented by the terms of your permission to be in the UK either from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
Student nurses - You will not be counted if you are a student nurse on a course leading to registration on any of Parts 1 to 6, or 8 of the nursing Register. Only student nurses studying from their first inclusion on the Register are not counted. Nurses who are already on the Register but are taking further courses are counted. Student nurses studying academic courses at universities or who are on Project 2000 courses, are excluded from this definition as they are considered as students.
Resident hospital patients - You will not be counted if you are a permanent patient in a hospital which is your only or main home. If you are in hospital for a short time and you have a home elsewhere, you will carry on paying council tax at your home.
People living in residential care homes, nursing homes, mental nursing homes and hostels providing a high level of care - You will not be counted if you live, and are receiving care, in one of these places, as long as it is your only or main home.
People who are severely mentally impaired - People who are severely mentally impaired are not counted. For council tax purposes, a person is regarded as severely mentally impaired if he or she suffers, for whatever reason, from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent. This will usually include people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and other similar illnesses. In order not to be counted, a person will need a certificate from his or her doctor to say that he or she is severely mentally impaired. The person must also be entitled to one of a number of benefits including certain incapacity benefits, disability allowances, unemployment allowances or attendance allowances.
People who are staying in certain hostels or night shelters - A person whose main or only residence is in a dwelling such as a short stay hostel or night shelter providing communal accommodation for people who have no fixed abode and no settled way of life is not counted. These may include hostels run by the Salvation Army or Church Army.
Monks or nuns - You will not be counted if you are a member of a religious community, provided that you depend on the community for your material needs and have no personal income or capital. (This will still apply if you receive income from a pension or pensions from a former job.) Only members of religious communities whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or any combination of these are not counted.
18 and 19 year olds - You will not be counted if you are 18 or 19 years old and are in full-time education (other than higher education). This includes people of that age who are at school or college and are on courses up to, and including, A level standard. You will also not be counted if you are at least 18 years old and someone is entitled to child benefit in respect of you, or would be if you were not in local authority care. If you are an 18 or 19 year old who left school after 30th April you will not be counted until 1st November of the same year. (You may continue to get a discount as a student if you go on to further or higher education.)
Carers - You will not be counted if you live with, and care for, a person with a disability who is receiving one of certain allowances or disablement pensions. You must be providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average. But you will be counted if you are caring for your husband or wife (or partner with whom you live as husband and wife), or your child under 18 years old. Someone who cares for an elderly person for at least 24 hours per week or a person with a disability in return for payment of up to £44 per week will not be counted. Such a person will usually belong to an organisation like Community Service Volunteers, but could be employed by a public body or (in certain circumstances) by the person for whom they care.
People in prison - Prisoners who are on remand or in prison are not counted. However, people who are imprisoned for not paying a fine or the council tax are counted.
Members of visiting forces, international headquarters and defence organisations - You will not be counted if you are a member (or dependent of a member) of a visiting force, or a member (or dependent of a member) of certain International Headquarters and Defence Organisations.
How will councils know when to apply a discount?
Each year councils are required to make sure that discounts are being granted to the right households in their area. They may do this by sending out forms asking for information. If you get a form asking about discounts, you do not have to return it but, if you think you are eligible, returning the form may speed up the award of a discount.
When it sends out its bills, your council will have decided whether it thinks a discount applies to your home. If there is no discount and you think you should get one, you should write to your council explaining why. Your council will tell you what evidence you will need to provide in support of your claim. The council has two months to make a decision. If you still disagree with the council, or if it has not acted within the two month period, you will be able to appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. See how to appeal. You should continue to pay your original bill whilst your appeal is outstanding.
If the council has given you a discount but you are not entitled to one, or are no longer entitled to one, you must write to say so or you may face a penalty.