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Discounts and Disregards

Apply for a council tax discount

Students

When determining the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is a student. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify as a student for the purpose of council tax, a person must be either:

  • Undertaking a full-time course of higher education with a prescribed educational establishment (the course must last at least one year and involve at least an average 21 hours per week for at least 24 weeks in the year)
  • Under 20 years of age and undertaking a course which lasts more than three calendar months and involves at least 12 hours per week

In addition, the person must supply a council tax certificate issued by the college or university. Please note that a certificate of enrolment or a notification of grant award letter is not acceptable. The educational establishment must be situated in a member state of the European Union and established solely or mainly for the purpose of providing further or higher education.

The following are available if:

  • All residents are students - exemption from council tax
  • All but one resident is a student - a 25 per cent discount for the household
  • The property is owned by a student and was last occupied by that student, exemption from council tax

Apprentices

When working out the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is an apprentice. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify as an apprentice a person must be:

  • Employed for the purpose of learning a trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation
  • For that purpose, undertaking a programme of training leading to a qualification accredited by the National Council for Vocational Qualification or the Scottish Vocational Education Council
  • Employed for a total salary or allowance (or both) substantially less than the salary he or she would be likely to receive if he or she had achieved the qualification in question and no more than £196 per week

Youth trainees

When determining the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is a youth trainee. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify as a youth trainee a person must be:

  • Under the age of 25 years
  • Training under a youth training arrangement

18-year-olds eligible for child benefit

When deciding the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is over 18 years old and entitled to have child benefit claimed for them. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify under this disregard:

  • The person must have reached the age of 18 years
  • Another person must be entitled to claim child benefit for them

School leavers

When determining the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is a school leaver. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify as a school leaver, the person must:

  • Be under the age of 20 years
  • Have finished a qualifying course of education within the period after 30 April and before 1 November in the year to which the application relates

Where both of the above apply, the person will be disregarded for council tax purposes until 1 November of the same year.

Prisoners

When determining the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is a prisoner in detention. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. Detention for non-payment of fines or council tax is not a valid reason for claiming this reduction.

Severely mentally impaired people (SMI)

When determining the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is severely mentally impaired. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify as severely mentally impaired for this purpose, a person must be:

  • Confirmed as severely mentally impaired by a registered medical practitioner
  • Receiving one of a number of certain qualifying benefits

Please apply for an SMI disregard using our form.

Carers

When determing the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is a carer. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregared is either one or none, a discount can apply.  The category of carer primarily relates to non-professional carers and in particular intends to cover all relative carers. In this case no reference is made to actual earnings or payment as often there are none. However, there is a reference to hours worked and this would need to be confirmed in writing by the person claiming the disregard.

The criteria that have to be met are:

  1. The person is providing care to a person who is in receipt of any of the following qualifying benefits:
    • The Highest (or Middle Rate from 8 April 2013) of the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance under S72 of the Social security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
    • The lower rate or higher of Attendance Allowance (from 8th April 2013)
    • The standard or enhanced rate of Daily Living Component of the Personal Independence Payment as defined by the Personal Independence Payment (Supplementary Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2013
    • An increase in the rate of disablement pension under S104 of the above act
    • An increase in the constant attendance allowance under the above act
    • An armed forces independence payment
  2. The person providing care must be resident within the same dwelling as the person being cared for
  3. The person must be providing care for at least 35 hours per week
  4. The person must not be a disqualified relative namely a spouse/civil partner (married or unmarried) or the parent of a child under 18 years

There is no limit on the number of carers that can be present and disregarded provided each meet the above criteria.

There is no restriction on a carer also having additional employment, which may occur if parents etc are looking after adult children who require care.

Long-term in-patients and care home residents

When determining the number of residents in a property for the purpose of council tax, a person can be disregarded if he or she is in hospital as a long-term in-patient or living in a care home. If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a discount can apply. To qualify for this discount a person must:

  • Have their sole or main residence in a residential care home, a nursing home, a mental nursing home, a hostel or a hospital: the term sole or main residence is not defined in Council Tax legislation, although case law on the subject suggests that temporary absence from home does not constitute a change of residency
  • Be receiving care or treatment

To apply for any of these discounts please complete the discount form.

If your circumstances change

If your circumstances change in a way which affects your entitlement to receive a discount or exemption, please complete the relevant form immediately.

Landlords can notify us of change in council tax tenancy.

Find out further information on other discounts.
 

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