Can I reduce my Council Tax?
Information about Council Tax discounts and exemptions
A full council tax charge assumes there are two adults (persons over 18) living in a property.
There are various discounts and disregards (persons not counted for the purpose of council tax) that are listed below for certain circumstances.
The full Council Tax bill assumes that two adults live in the property. If only one adult lives there (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25% by claiming Single Person Discount. You can apply for a discount by completing a Claim Form.
If your property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, you might be entitled to a 100% discount for up to one month. This discount starts from the date those circumstances applied and does not start again if the property changes hands. For properties unoccupied and unfurnished for longer than one month, there is no discount.
Long Term Empty properties empty after two years are subject to a premium and charged 200%. If a property has been empty for more than five years, it will be charged 300%. And for properties empty longer than 10 years a further premium will apply, taking the charge to 400%.
If your property needs major repairs or undergoing structural alterations, you may qualify for a 25% discount (max. 12 months). There is no discount that can be applied to properties that are furnished, but not occupied as anyone's main home.
The following people are disregarded for Council Tax and do not count when we look at the number of adults living in a property:
- Full-time students
- Student nurses
- Apprentices and youth training trainees
- Patients living in hospital
- People being cared for permanently in care homes
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 and 19 year olds who are at, or have just left school
- Care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
- People caring for someone with a disability who is not a partner, or child under 18
- Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions and diplomats
- Persons in detention (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
- People staying under the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme
Generally, you don't have to pay council tax on the classes of property listed in the two sections that follow because they are exempt. Some classes do have time limits though. If you get an exemption and your circumstances change and you are no longer be entitled to your exemption you must let us know straight away - or you may have to pay a penalty.
Classes of exempt empty property
- Class B - Property is unoccupied and owned by a charity. The exemption can be up 6 months per property.
- Class D - The property is unoccupied because the liable person for Council Tax is in prison (except for non-payment of Council Tax or fines). The exemption will continue until the prisoner is released or the property is sold, let or reoccupied.
- Class E - Property is now vacant because the liable person for Council Tax is now living in a hospital, residential care home or nursing home. The property can still be furnished and the exemption will continue until such time as the property is sold, let or becomes reoccupied.
- Class F - Property is unoccupied following the death of the person responsible for Council Tax. The exemption continues for up to 6 months after probate is granted.
- Class G - A vacant property where occupation is prevented by law.
- Class H - Vacant property that is being held for a minister of religion.
- Class I - The property is unoccupied because the person responsible for Council Tax is living elsewhere and receiving care.
- Class J - Property is vacant because the person responsible for Council Tax is living elsewhere to provide care.
- Class K - Property is unoccupied because the person responsible for Council Tax is a student who is living elsewhere to study.
- Class L - An unoccupied property which has been repossessed by a mortgage lender.
- Class Q - The property has been left unoccupied by a trustee in bankruptcy.
- Class R - Property is an empty caravan pitch or boat mooring.
- Class T - An unoccupied annexe to an occupied property.
Classes of exempt occupied property
- Class M - The property is a student's hall of residence.
- Class N - The property is solely lived in by full time students.
- Class O - The property is solely lived in by UK Armed Forces.
- Class P - The property is solely lived in by visiting service personnel.
- Class S - The property is solely lived in by people aged under 18.
- Class U - The property is solely lived in by severely mentally impaired people.
- Class V - The property is lived in by at least one foreign diplomat or specified member of an international organisation.
- Class W - The property is an annexe of another property. The self contained unit or annexe must be the sole or main residence of the dependant relative. For the purposes of the class W exemption, the dependant relative must be either aged 65 years or older, or be severely mentally impaired or be substantially and permanently disabled.
If you think you may be entitled to one of the above exemptions please contact us on: 01205 314202, or email the revenues team or write to us at Revenues Section, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire PE21 8QR.
If you or someone who lives with you has;
- A room in the home, other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet that is mainly used to meet the needs of the person with the disability.
- Or an extra bathroom or kitchen specifically to meet the needs of the person with the disability.
- Or the person with the disability has to use a wheelchair indoors and there is sufficient floor space in the home to allow the wheelchair to be used.
You may be able to get money off your council tax bill if you apply and then qualify for disabled relief. The bill may be reduced to that of a property in the next band down.
These reductions make sure that disabled people do not pay more tax because of extra space that they need because of a disability.
If you think you may qualify for disabled relief you can apply. Telephone: 01205 314200 to request an application form or write to us at Revenues Section, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire PE21 8QR.