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The Rundown: Council Tax – Can You Get a Reduction?

It’s the topic of many heated discussions: What do you pay Council Tax for?

The chunk you pay to your local authority each month covers all kinds of services including police and fire, getting your bins emptied and road maintenance. You usually pay Council Tax if you’re aged 18 or over and own or rent a home, and the bill is based on two adults living in a home.

How much you pay depends on which band you fall into, based on the value of your home and the area where you live. The difference between bands can run into thousands of pounds so, if you’re unsure or thinking of moving, it’s worth finding out from local authority websites.

There’s been a lot of fuss about council tax bands being inaccurate and people paying too much, but if you think this applies to you, you can apply for a reassessment by the Valuation Office Agency.

The all-important question you need the answer to is, can you get a reduction on your Council Tax?

You’ll get 25% off your bill if you:

  •      Live on your own
  •      No-one else in your home counts as an adult

You’ll usually get a 50% discount if:

  •      No-one in your home, including you, counts as an adult

You won’t have to pay any if:

  •      Everyone in your home, including you is a full-time student

You might get a reduction if:

  •      You’re on a low income
  •      You get certain benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit
  •      You, or someone you live with, has a disability and as a result needs to live in a bigger house
  •      You’re severely mentally impaired, or live with someone who is
  •      You’re a care leaver in Scotland, where you’ll be exempt from Council Tax from the age of 18 until you turn 26
  •      You live in certain counties in England and Wales and are a care leaver

If you want to find out if you can get some money knocked off your bill, go to the website and search ‘Apply for Council Tax Discount’.