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Council Tax Reduction

You could be eligible for help towards the cost of your Council Tax if you're on a low income or claim certain benefits, including Universal Credit (UC).

Your bill could be reduced by up to 100% if you are above state pension age, or up to 80% if you or your partner are below state pension age or you are in receipt of Income Support, income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit.

You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.

The level of support you will receive is calculated by looking at you and your partner's income, savings and household circumstances.

Help with paying Council Tax if you have applied for or are receiving Universal Credit

If you are liable for Council Tax, help towards paying this is not included in your Universal Credit payment.

Apply for Council Tax Reduction (UC only)

Help with paying Council Tax if you are not receiving Universal Credit 

You can continue to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction if you are not in receipt of Universal Credit.

Apply for Council Tax Reduction (non-UC)

 

Read more in the St Helens Borough Council - Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024-25

If you are the only person living in the property

A 25% single occupancy discount (also known as a single person discount) is available if there is only one person aged 18 years or over living in the property.

Apply for a single occupancy discount

Disregarded occupants

You may be entitled to a reduction on your Council Tax bill if one or more of the adults in your house are disregarded when calculating the charge. If the only resident is disregarded then an exemption may be awarded.

People who are disregarded include:

  • Full-time students and student nurses
  • Apprentices and people under 25 on youth training schemes
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • Carers - people who live with and care for someone who is not their partner, spouse or child under 18
  • People who would be liable for Council Tax but are permanently resident in a nursing home, hospital or residential care home
  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19-year-olds who are at school or college, or who may have just left
  • People in prison or detention (unless confined for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)

Apply for discount or exemption if you feel one or more of the adults in your property are disregarded.

Disabled band reduction

You may be able to claim a reduction in your charge if your home has certain features used by a disabled resident, which are essential or of major importance to the wellbeing of that person. These features are:

  • A room which is not a bathroom, kitchen or toilet and which is predominately used by and is required to meet the needs of the person with the disability.
  • An additional bathroom or kitchen which is required for meeting the needs of the person with the disability
  • Sufficient floor space inside the dwelling to permit the use of a wheelchair. It must be necessary for the disabled person to use a wheelchair indoors predominately.

Apply for a disabled band reduction.

It will be necessary for an inspector to call at your property by mutual agreement.

Occupied exemptions

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. If you own or occupy a property described below, you may be entitled to claim an exemption.

  • The property is occupied wholly by full-time students.
  • The property is a halls of residence for students that is owned or managed by a prescribed educational establishment.
  • The property is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and keeps it for members of the UK armed forces to live in.
  • The property is occupied by members of visiting armed forces or their dependants.
  • All the people who live in the property are under 18 years of age.
  • The property is occupied wholly by persons who are severely mentally impaired.
  • The property is the main home of a person with diplomatic privileges or immunity.
  • The property is an annexe to another dwelling, and is occupied by a dependant relative.

Apply for an occupied property exemption.

Unoccupied exemptions

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. If you own or are liable for a property described below, you may be entitled to claim an exemption.

  • An unoccupied property that is owned by a charity and was last used for charitable purposes; an exemption will apply for up to six months.
  • The property is left unoccupied because the usual occupier is being held in prison or detained elsewhere.
  • The property is left unoccupied due to the usual occupier moving permanently to a hospital, residential home or hostel to receive care.
  • The property is left unoccupied as the liable person has passed away and the property is in the possession of a personal representative who is awaiting probate or probate has been granted for less than six months.
  • All occupation of the property is prohibited by law e.g. Compulsory Purchase Order.
  • The unoccupied property is being held available for occupation by a minister of religion.
  • The property is unoccupied as the usual occupier has gone to live elsewhere to receive care.
  • The property is unoccupied as the usual occupier has gone to live elsewhere to provide care.
  • The property is unoccupied because the usual occupier has gone to live elsewhere and they are a full time student.
  • The unoccupied property has been repossessed by the mortgagee.
  • The unoccupied property is a halls of residence for students that is owned or managed by a prescribed educational establishment.
  • The property is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and keeps it for members of the UK armed forces to live in.
  • The property is unoccupied and the liable person is trustee in a bankruptcy.
  • An unoccupied caravan or boat mooring.
  • The unoccupied property is an annexe to an occupied dwelling.

Apply for an unoccupied property exemption.

Empty and unfurnished property discount

If your property becomes unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, a 100% discount may be applicable from the date the property became unoccupied and unfurnished, for a period of up to one month. 

Apply for an unoccupied and unfurnished property discount.

After one month, a 100% charge will be applied to empty properties for up to one year. After one year, a long-term empty property premium may apply.

Please Note: Periods of occupation of less than six weeks are excluded when determining the overall period a dwelling is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

 

Properties undergoing or requiring major repairs or alterations

If your property becomes unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and requires or is undergoing major repair or structural alteration, a 25% discount may be applicable for a period of up to 12 months.

Apply for a major repairs/structural alteration discount.

Care leavers

A discretionary discount is available to care leavers aged between 18 and 24 years. It will cease on the care leaver's 25th birthday. 

You can find more information in section 3 of the Council Tax Discretionary Discount Policy. To apply for a care leaver's discount, please complete and return an application form. Completed forms should be emailed to ctaxenquiries@sthelens.gov.uk

Discretionary discount

We have additional discretionary powers to reduce Council Tax liability where national discounts and exemptions cannot be applied.

Council Tax legislation provides a wide range of discounts, exemptions and reductions that have the effect of reducing the level of Council Tax due. Applicants will be expected to have exhausted all other options before making an application under this policy.

Find out more in the Council Tax Discretionary Discount Guidelines.