When a Council Tax bill is issued we have to assume that the circumstances prevailing on the day the bill is produced will continue to the end of the financial year. Even if we know that a discount or exemption will end on a fixed date in the future (e.g. a Class C exemption) we have to bill as though the discount or exemption will last to the end of the year. Similarly, if we know that a discount or exemption will start on a fixed date in the future we cannot grant it until after that future date. A further bill amending the charge will be sent after a discount, disregard or exemption actually becomes applicable or has expired.
A summary of Council Tax discounts and exemptions appears below. Full details are available from the Council Tax billing team at the following address:
Customer Service Centre
85 New Square
Derbyshire S40 1SN
How exemptions are worked out
The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult (aged 18 or over) lives in a dwelling the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25%.
If a dwelling is unoccupied and unfurnished for more than three months a full Council Tax charge will apply. When a dwelling has been unoccupied and unfurnished for 24 months or longer an additional 50% surcharge will become payable. This means that a 150% Council Tax charge will apply to properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for 24 months or longer.
If a dwelling is furnished but is no-one’s main home a full Council Tax charge will apply.
Certain households may be entitled to a discount shown below. If you think that a discount or exemption should apply to the property to which this bill relates and neither is shown on the bill, please contact the Council Tax Section. Similarly, if your bill shows that a discount or exemption has been granted but you think that you are not entitled to all or part of it then you should tell us immediately (or you may face a penalty if you do not).
Council Tax Discount 2013/14 for Second Homes and Unoccupied Properties
Under section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, from 1st April 2013 the Council Tax discount applicable to certain properties will be:
- Nothing for second homes (unoccupied furnished properties)
- 100% for up to 12 months for discounts that replace the current Class A exemption (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties which require or are undergoing major repair works to make them habitable or homes undergoing structural alterations). No discount will apply after this period.
- 100% discount for up to 3 months for properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished (currently Class C). No discount will apply after this period.
Properties which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more will be charged a 50% premium.
Note: For the changes that relate to empty homes, the previous rule which stipulated that empty status cannot be interrupted by notice of short term occupations for less than 6 weeks will continue to apply.
Full details are available from Revenues Service, Customer Service Centre, PO Box 100, New Square, Chesterfield. S40 1SN.
Council tax exemptions
A property subject to Council Tax is exempt if it falls into one of the following classes:
- B: A property which is owned and was last occupied by a charity and which has been unoccupied for less than 6 months.
- D: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) is now in prison or is detained under the Mental Health Act.
- E: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) now lives in a hospital or nursing home.
- F: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident is deceased and -
(i) the deceased was the sole owner and the Council Taxpayer is now the executor/ administrator, or
(ii) the deceased was the sole tenant and the executor/administrator is now liable to pay rent.
Exemption lasts for up to 6 months after the grant of probate or letters of administration has been made whilst one of the above conditions is still met.
- G: A property which is unoccupied where occupation is prohibited by law.
- H: A property which is unoccupied and is held for occupation by a minister of religion as a residence from which to perform his duties.
- I: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) now resides elsewhere in order to receive care by reason of old age, illness, disablement etc.
- J: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) now resides elsewhere in order to provide care by reason of old age, illness, disablement etc.
- K: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident is a student undertaking a course of education which commenced within six weeks of the property becoming unoccupied.
- L: A property which has been re-possessed under a mortgage.
- M: A property which comprises a hall of residence providing accommodation for students.
- N: A property which is occupied by one or more residents ALL of whom are students (including persons to whom the discount disregard class Q applies).
- O: A property owned by the Secretary of State for Defence which is held for the purposes of armed forces accommodation other than accommodation for visiting forces.
- P: A property occupied by members of visiting forces.
- Q: An unoccupied property where the owner is a trustee in bankruptcy.
- R: A vacant caravan pitch or vacant boat mooring.
- S: A property only occupied by persons under 18.
- T: An unoccupied dwelling which along with another dwelling forms a single property and which would be difficult to let separately (e.g. a granny flat).
- U: A property occupied only by severely mentally impaired persons where one or more of those persons would otherwise be liable to Council Tax.
- V: A property which is occupied by a diplomat as a main residence where that person would otherwise be liable to pay the Council Tax.
- W: A dwelling which along with a second dwelling forms a single property and which is occupied by an elderly or disabled relative of the occupiers of the second dwelling (e.g. a granny flat).
In some cases, a discount may be granted to households of two or more adult residents. This is because certain people are not counted as residents if they fall into special categories. If, after disregarding those persons, there are less than two other adults resident in the property then a discount of either 25% or 50% may be granted.
Persons falling into the following classes are disregarded when calculating entitlement to a Council Tax discount (the descriptions given below are brief summaries - full details are available from the Council Tax Section):
Disregard - Class
- A: Persons detained either in a prison, hospital or other place by order of a court or under the Mental Health Act 1983 or under the Immigration Act 1971
- B: Persons who are severely mentally impaired as certified by a registered medical practitioner and in receipt of certain state benefits.
- C: Persons over 18 in respect of whom child benefit is payable.
- D: Students undertaking a full-time course of education. A full-time course is one which lasts for at least one academic or calendar year, undertaken for at least 24 weeks per year and consists of study, tuition or work experience for an average of at least 21 hours per week.
- E: Students under 20 undertaking a course of education which is not higher education which lasts for at least 3 months, is not a correspondence course, requires attendance over 12 hours per week and is undertaken principally between 8.00am and 5.30pm.
- F: Persons appointed as foreign language assistants at a school or other educational institution and who are registered with the British Council.
- G: Student nurses.
- H: Apprentices undertaking training which will lead to a qualification accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and are employed at a salary or in receipt of an allowance or both, which are, in total no more than £195 per week gross.
- I: Youth training trainees under the age of 25.
- J: Patients living permanently in NHS or military hospitals.
- K: Patients living permanently in a residential care home, a nursing home, a mental nursing home or a hostel who are receiving care and/or treatment in the home or hostel.
- L: Persons employed to provide care to another person on behalf of a local authority, the Crown or a charitable body for no more than £44 per week.
- M: Persons providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average to another person (who is not their spouse and who is not their son or daughter under 18 years old) who is entitled to certain state benefits.
- N: Persons of no fixed abode living in hostels or night shelters.
- O: Members of International Headquarters and Defence Organisations and their dependants.
- P: Members of religious communities whose principal occupation consists of prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering and who have no income or capital of their own.
- Q: Persons under 20 who have ceased to undertake a course of education that would entitle them to be disregarded under class E above after 30th April. They will then be disregarded until 31st October of that same year or to the date of their 20th birthday, if earlier.
- R: Persons who have a relevant association with a visiting force.
- S: Spouses or dependants of foreign students.