Discounts, exemptions and reductions on your Council Tax

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are at least two adults living in a property. The information below will tell you in what circumstances we can reduce your bill. 

Please note: that if you are awarded a reduction in your bill, we carry out regular reviews to make sure you are still entitled to it. If you receive a review form, please return it as we may remove any reduction.

Can I apply for a discount if I live on my own?

A 25 per cent single person discount is available when you are the only person aged 18 or over who lives in your home.

To apply, you need to register on our secure online Council Tax service:

Apply for a single person discount on the Citizen Access Revenues website

I am on a low income can I get a reduction from my bill?

You may be eligible to claim Council Tax support. This is a discount of up to 75 per cent available to households where the people are of working age and have a combined low income and savings of less that £16,000. This discount is means-tested, this means we look at the total income and the capital, such as bank accounts, bonds and shares and of all the people living in your home.

For households of pension age, a discount of up to 100 per cent is available. This is also means-tested in the same way as the working-age scheme

Read more about Council Tax support, including how to apply.

Why does my bill keep changing when I am on Universal Credit?

Your Universal Credit is reviewed every four weeks and if you have had a change in your income or circumstances your universal credit changes. The Department for Work and Pensions automatically tell us your new entitlement and we adjust your Council Tax. If your income changes regularly this means you may receive a new bill each time your universal credit changes.

To keep on top of your payments, register to view your council tax account online:

View your council tax account online

How do I apply for an exemption from my Council Tax?

Council Tax does not apply to some properties if certain conditions are met.

Occupied properties

An exemption can be applied to an occupied property when:

  • all the residents are aged 17 or under
  • all the residents are full-time students and taking a qualifying course of education. Apply online for student discount
  • it is used as halls of residence for students
  • all the residents are severely mentally impaired. This can include conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Apply online for a discount due to a mental impairment
  • a diplomat or similar who is not a British citizen, British subject or British protected person is a resident and has no other sole or main residence in the UK
  • it is accommodation for the UK armed forces or visiting forces
  • it is an annexe which is part of another domestic property, and the person living in it is a dependent relative of a person living in the main property.

If you wish to apply for an exemption for any of the above which do not have an online form please call (01482) 393939 or email council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk.

Unoccupied properties

An exemption can be applied to an unoccupied property when:

  • it is owned and was last occupied by a registered charity. This applies for a maximum period of six months
  • the person who would normally have to pay the Council Tax is in prison. Apply online for an exemption
  • the person who would normally have to pay the Council Tax has died and they were the only owner or leaseholder (minimum term of six months). The property must have been unoccupied since the person died. This applies until probate or letters of administration are granted and for six months afterward (unless someone else becomes the owner)
  • the person who would normally have to pay the Council Tax is a permanent resident of a residential care home, nursing home or hospice. Apply online for an exemption
  • the law says nobody is allowed to live in it
  • it is being kept vacant for a religious minister to move in
  • the person who previously lived in the property as their sole/main residence (and is also the owner/tenant) is now living at another address (as their sole/main residence) where they are caring for someone who is elderly, ill, disabled or has a present/past drug/alcohol dependence or mental disorder. Apply online for an exemption
  • the person who previously lived in the property as their sole/main residence (and is also the owner/tenant) is now living at another address (as their sole/main residence) to receive care due to being elderly, ill, disabled or having a present/past drug/alcohol dependence or mental disorder. Apply online for an exemption
  • the owner is a full-time student and is living somewhere else to attend a qualifying course of education
  • the mortgagee has repossessed it. Apply online for an exemption
  • the person who would normally have to pay the Council Tax is a trustee in bankruptcy
  • it is an empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • it is part of another domestic property and cannot be rented out separately (for example, unoccupied annexes). Apply online for an exemption.

If you wish to apply for an exemption for any of the above which do not have an online form please call (01482) 393939 or email council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk.

If your circumstances change, and the qualifying conditions are no longer met, any exemption will end and you will receive a new Council Tax bill.

If you cannot apply for an exemption using our online service, please call (01482) 393939 or email council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk.

Is there an easy guide to Council Tax?

Yes, Government have guide to how the Council Tax system operates in England, including an explanation of the range of exemptions and discounts available.

Easy guide to Council Tax

How do I apply for a reduction in my Council Tax?

Yes, a disregard may be awarded.

The full Council Tax charge is payable on a property when it is the main residence of two or more people aged 18 years or over, however, Council Tax does not apply to some people (they are 'disregarded') if they meet certain conditions.

When counting the number of adults in a property, some people can be disregarded if they meet certain conditions.

The reduction applied depends on the number of people aged 18 years or over who can be disregarded. It can be up to 50 per cent of the full amount.

Types of 'disregard'

Disregards may apply if you have anyone who lives in your household who is:

Disregards can also be considered for anyone who lives in your household who is:

  • registered at your address but are on remand or in prison. This does not apply for people who are in prison for non-payment of fines or Council Tax. Apply for a Council Tax reduction.

  • an apprentice employed to learn a trade, and where the training leads to an accredited qualification. To qualify they must not earn more than £195 gross per week

  • a student nurse carrying out a course that leads to relevant registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979

  • a youth training trainee aged 24 or under carrying out training through an approved scheme

  • is a patient and permanently resident in hospital with no plans to move back to their previous home

  • a care worker that provides care or support through a charity or similar for at least 24 hours per week. They must live in the place where they provide care or a place provided for this purpose and must not receive more than £44 per week

  • a resident of a homeless hostel or night shelter and does not live anywhere else other than places provided for homeless people

  • a member of international headquarters or a defence organisation. This also applies to any dependants

  • a member of a religious community such as a monastery or convent. They must be dependent on the community for material needs and have no personal income or capital

  • a member of visiting forces or another international institution. This also applies to any dependents

  • a non-British spouse or dependent of a student who is prevented from taking paid employment, or claiming benefits, by the terms of their permission to be in the UK

  • lodging with a British citizen and has diplomatic privilege or immunity.

If you wish to apply for a disregard for any of the above which do not have an online form please call (01482) 393939 or email council.tax@eastriding.gov.uk.

A full list of Council Tax disregards is available in the guide below:

Council Tax disregard guide (pdf 73kb)

I am struggling to pay my Council Tax, can I apply for any additional help?

If you are having difficulties paying your Council Tax bill you can apply for Council Tax support.

As there are no set conditions for awarding a reduction, we individually consider any applications.

We will need a range of information from you to make a decision including:

  • why you are unable to pay your Council Tax bill

  • household income and expenditure

  • savings and investments

  • if you have received debt or benefits advice.

Apply for a discretionary discount

For more information, please see our Council Tax discretionary reduction policy.

Council Tax discretionary reduction policy (pdf 246kb)

If you are in employment but struggling to afford your essential living costs, you may be eligible for help with your council tax from the Emergency Assistance scheme.

Is there anyone who can help me understand what reduction I can claim?

We have a helpful team of benefit and debt advisers who offer FREE, confidential advice about reductions to Council Tax, and benefits which can be claimed.

For more information visit the Your Money team page or email yourmoney@eastriding.gov.uk to make an appointment.

How do I report suspected fraud?

Council Tax fraud is committed when someone deliberately gives false or misleading information so that they can pay less or no Council Tax. This includes:

  • claiming to live in a single-person household to get the single person discount when more than one person lives in the household
  • pretending to be a student to get the student discount when they are not a student
  • failing to tell us that they no longer need to claim a Council Tax reduction or discounts.

You can report suspected fraud anonymously:

Report suspected fraud

Who can get a severe mental impairment (SMI) discount or exemption on their Council Tax?

You may be entitled to a council tax exemption if you have a severe mental impairment (SMI), such as (but not limited to):

  • degenerative brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s
  • other kinds of dementia
  • a learning disability
  • a severe stroke
  • severe or chronic mental illness.

When you apply for a SMI exemption (or when someone applies on your behalf) we’ll need to contact your doctor to confirm that your SMI appears to be permanent. The amount of discount you’re entitled to depends on certain circumstances:

  • if you live alone you may be entitled to 100% exemption
  • if you live with one qualifying carer, you may be entitled to 50% discount
  • if you live with one other person over the age of 18, you may be entitled to 25% discount.

In order to claim a SMI exemption for council tax, you must be eligible for at least one of the following benefits:

  • Incapacity benefit
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Unemployability supplement payable as an increase to disablement benefit
  • Unemployability allowance payable with war pension
  • Attendance allowance under the higher or lower rate
  • Constant attendance allowance at one of the four rates payable with disablement pension or war disablement pension
  • Disability element of working tax credits
  • Care component of a disability living allowance or the care component of a personal independent payment
  • Income support or universal credit where the applicable amounts include a disability premium
  • Employment and support allowance.

Apply for an SMI exemption if you believe you are eligible:

Apply for Council Tax Reduction - Severe mental impairment (SMI) exemption

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