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Council Tax discounts, reductions and exemptions

A full Council Tax bill assumes that two adults live in the property. Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for a Council Tax discount, reduction or exemption.

 

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support helps people on low incomes pay their Council Tax. You may qualify for help with your Council Tax whether you are working or not or if you are self-employed. The amount of help you will get will depend on the people who live with you, your income, savings and the amount of Council Tax you pay.

Please note if you are claiming Universal Credit, it does not include Council Tax Support and you will need to make a separate claim. If you think you may qualify please claim straight away.

Visit our Council Tax Support page for further information.

 

Single person discount

You pay full Council Tax if there are two or more adults living in your property.  If you are the only adult (aged 18 or over) living in your home, you can claim a single person discount of 25%.

You can apply for single person discount if:

  • You live alone or with children, as long as they are under 18.
  • All other members of your household have moved out and you are now the only adult living in the property.

If someone aged 18 years or over who usually lives with you moves out for a short period of time and they intend to return home, a discount would not always apply as we would need to consider whether their main home has changed. For example, if someone goes on a long holiday, or where a partner works away from home or abroad, you would not usually qualify for a discount because your home is classed as their main home for Council Tax purposes.

You must notify us if you are no longer entitled to single person discount. The following types of change may affect your discount, and you should let us know if:

  • Another adult comes to stay with you, and your property is their main home.
  • A child living in your home reaches the age of 18.

Apply for or cancel a single person discount

 

Council Tax Single Person Discount Review

We are carrying out a review of all households within the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council area claiming single person discount on their council tax bill. Further details can be found in the Information and Frequently Asked Questions leaflet.

 

Disabled person reduction

If you or someone who lives with you has a disability, and your home has been significantly adapted to meet the needs of a disabled person, you may qualify for a reduction in your Council Tax Bill.

Apply for disabled person reduction

Please complete the form above and use our online form to send it to us.

If you need help completing this form, please contact us on 01642 397108.

 

Severely Mentally Impaired

We don't include people with "severe mental impairment" when we calculate Council Tax for a property.

You may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax if a person in your household is suffering from: 

  • Severe mental impairment
  • Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease
  • The effects of a stroke
  • Severe learning difficulties
  • Who have suffered such an impairment as a result of an injury

Severe mental impairment may be progressive, and many people (or their carers) may not realise that they are now entitled to a reduction.

To qualify, someone must be medically certified as having a condition that affects their intelligence and social functioning that appears to be permanent, and be entitled (but not necessarily receiving) at least one of a number of qualifying benefits.

If you or someone who lives with you is classed as severely mentally impaired, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount or exemption.

Apply for a severely mentally impaired discount or exemption

Please complete the form above and use our online form to send it to us.

If you need help completing this form, please contact us on 01642 397108.

 

Other discounts

Below is a list of other discounts available. You must apply for the discount using our online portal.

 

Students

If you or someone who lives with you is classed as a full-time student, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. To qualify as a full-time student, the student must be:

  • At college, university or similar on a higher education course which lasts for more than 24 weeks or,
  • A student nurse

The student will be required to provide a copy of their student certificate containing their name, the name of the educational establishment and the start and end date of the course.

Person under 20 in full time education

If you or someone who lives with you is classed as a full-time student in further education, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. To qualify the student must be:

  • At school or college
  • Under 20 years of age
  • On a course that lasts as least three consecutive calendar months, and studying for at least 12 hours a week on a course held between 8:00am and 5:30pm

The student will be required to provide a headed letter from their school or college confirming their name, date of birth, confirmation of the course being studied and the start and end date of the course.

School or college leaver

If someone who lives with you is 18 or 19 years old, not in full time education but child benefit is payable for them, they can be disregarded for Council Tax purposes until they turn 20.

Evidence that the person has left school or college between 1 May and 31 October, where they were studying a qualifying course of education will be required. Proof that child benefit is being paid in respect of this person is also required.

Foreign language assistant

If you or someone who lives with you is working as a foreign language assistant, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount or exemption.

The foreign language assistant must provide a student certificate, and written evidence that they are registered with the Central Bureau of Educational Visits and Exchanges.

Apprentice

If you or someone who lives with you is an apprentice, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. To qualify, proof is required that the person is:

  • Undertaking a programme of training leading to an accredited qualification
    and;
  • That their salary or allowance (or both) does not exceed £195.00 per week
Person resident in care/nursing home

If someone has left their home permanently to receive care in either a hospital or care home, they may be entitled to a discount.

Confirmation of permanent residence will be required to support an application.

Carer

If you provide care for someone who lives with you for a minimum of 35 hours per week, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount if the person being cared for is entitled to one of the following benefits, which must be evidenced:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • High or Middle Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Standard or High Rate of Personal Independence Payment
  • Increase in Constant Attendance Allowance under the Industrial Injuries or War Pension Scheme
  • Highest Rate of Constant Attendance Allowance on top of Full Rate of Disablement Benefit paid for Industrial Injury

The person you care for must not be:

  • Your partner
  • Your spouse, or
  • Your child under 18 years of age
Care Worker

If you are a resident care worker, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount if:

  • You are providing care or support to another person, on behalf of a local authority or a body established for charitable purposes only.
  • You are employed for at least 24 hours per week and earn no more than £44 during any one week
  • You are resident in premises, which are provided by or on behalf of the employer for the better performance of their duties and where they also reside, or;

Providing care to a person who is in receipt of or entitled to one of the following benefits which must be evidenced.

  • Attendance Allowance
  • High or Middle Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Standard or High Rate of Personal Independence Payment
  • Increase in Constant Attendance Allowance under the Industrial Injuries or War Pension Scheme
  • Highest Rate of Constant Attendance Allowance on top of Full Rate of Disablement Benefit paid for Industrial Injury

The person you care for must not be:

  • Your partner
  • Your spouse, or;
  • Your child under 18 years of age
Person in prison People in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine) may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. Confirmation of the date that detention began, and the place of detention will be required to support an application.
Hostel or homeless shelter resident

If you are living in a property which provides care or treatment because of your age, physical or mental disability, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental illness you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount.

You will need to provide confirmation from the owner that the property is used solely by people with no fixed abode and that it is not a self-contained unit.

Member of a religious community

If you or someone who lives with you is a member of a religious community, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount.

Evidence that the person’s principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education, relief of suffering or any combination of these will be required, in addition to proof that the person(s) have no income or capital of their own.

Spouse of an international student If you are the spouse of an international student, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. You will need to provide a copy of your spouse’s or dependent’s visa to support your application.
Member of a visiting Armed Forces If you are a member of a visiting Armed Force or a member of a civilian component of a visiting Armed Force you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. Evidence of membership will be required to support an application.
Member of an international headquarters or defence organisation If you are a member of an international headquarters or defence organisation you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount. Evidence of membership will be required to support an application.

 

To apply for or cancel any of the discounts above, you will need to log in to your Council Tax account online. Please ensure that you have any evidence required before you start, as you will need to upload this along with your application.

Sign in to your online account or register

If you need help completing this form, please contact us on 01642 397108.

 

Exemptions

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. If you own or live in a property described below you may be exempt from paying Council Tax.


Exemption Class


Empty properties exempt from Council Tax

Empty property owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months).

D

Property left empty by someone who is in detention.

E

Property left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or home. Documentation is required from the hospital/care home that the person is a permanent resident there and is unable to return to the property.

F

Property left empty where the resident owner is deceased and probate has not been granted – in some cases Council Tax liability transfers straight away to a beneficiary, see below * A copy of the death certificate is required.

FF

Property left empty where the resident owner is deceased and probate was granted less than six months ago – in some cases Council Tax liability transfers straight to a beneficiary*. A copy of the death certificate is required.

G

Empty because the law says the property cannot be lived in. Evidence that occupation of the property would be unlawful is required to support an application for an exemption.

H

Property waiting to be lived in by a Minister of Religion. A letter from the diocese confirming that the property is awaiting occupation by a minister is required to support an application for an exemption.

I

Property left empty by someone who has moved to receive care elsewhere. Confirmation is required that change of residence is permanent.

J

Property left empty by someone who has moved to provide care for another person. Proof of the following is required to support an application for an exemption:

·       That the applicant is in receipt of Carers Allowance for the person they are caring for

·       That the person being cared for is in receipt of the Care Component of the Disability Living Allowance

·       Signed declaration from the medical practitioner of the person being cared for, that care is required

K

Property left empty by student(s). The student certificate of the person(s) who would usually be wholly liable for the Council Tax charge is required.

L

A repossessed property. Documentation confirming the date a property was repossessed and by whom is required to support an application for an exemption

M

Halls of Residence for students. Evidence that the property is owned or managed by an education institution is required to support an application for an exemption.

N

Property only occupied by full-time student(s).

O

UK Armed Force Accommodation. Evidence that the property is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and held for the purposes of armed forces accommodation is required to support an application for an exemption.

P

Visiting Forces accommodation. Evidence that the liable person is a member of a visiting armed forces and that any other person's in the property are their dependents who are neither British Citizens or ordinarily resident in the UK, is required to support an application for an exemption.

Q

Property left empty by a person who has become bankrupt and liability would fall to a trustee. Proof of bankruptcy is required to support an application for an exemption.

R

Empty caravan pitch or boat mooring.

S

Property only lived in by a person(s) under 18. Proof of the person’s date of birth is required to support an application for an exemption.

T

An unoccupied dwelling which is attached to another property, which may not be let separately. Evidence that the property cannot be let as it would breach planning control is required to support an application for an exemption.

U

Property only lived in by a person(s) who is severely mentally impaired.

V

Property occupied by a diplomat. Evidence that one of the liable persons is a diplomat or member of an international organisation headquartered in the UK will be required to support an application for an exemption. In addition an exemption can only be granted if the liable persons status is verified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

W

An annexe to a property occupied by a dependent relative of the occupants of the main home. The occupier of the property must be a dependent relative who is defined as:

·       A person aged 65 years or more

·       A person who is substantially and permanently disabled or,

·       Severely mentally impaired for the purposes of Council Tax

 

*Please note, in some circumstances such as when a property is left to a beneficiary and the Will does not stipulate it must be sold; liability transfers straight to the beneficiary and the exemption will not apply.

To apply for or cancel an exemption you will need to log in to your Council Tax account online. Please ensure that you have any evidence required before you start, as you will need to upload this along with your application.

Sign in to your online account or register

If you need help completing this form, please contact us on 01642 397108.

 

Empty Property Premium

If you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more, you will have to pay an additional 50% on your Council Tax. This is known as an Empty Property Premium and will show as a separate charge on your Council Tax bill. Further details can be found on the Information on empty or second homes webpage.

 

Family Annexe Discount

If you have an annexe which is used by you or a family member, you may qualify for a discount.

To qualify the occupiers have to be related to the person liable to pay the Council Tax of the main dwelling. This reduction also applies where the occupiers of the main house are using the annexe as part of their main residence.

Complete the Council Tax Reduction for Annexes Application Form.

 

Further information

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, please contact us using our online contact form.

Contact us online about council tax

 

 

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