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Council tax discounts and reductions

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home. Certain groups of people don't pay Council Tax because they are disregarded. So, if you live with any of them, they won't be counted as an adult for Council Tax purposes.

These people include:

  • children under 18
  • people on apprentice schemes
  • 18 and 19-year-olds who are in full-time education
  • full-time college and university students
  • young people under 25 who receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People's Learning Agency
  • student nurses
  • foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • people who have a severe mental disability
  • live-in carers who look after someone who isn't their partner, spouse or child (up to 18 years)
  • diplomats

To find out if you should get a Council Tax discount, count the number of adults who live in your home as their main home. Don't count anyone who is in one of the above groups. If all the occupiers are disregarded your Council Tax bill will be halved. If just one adult lives in your home who isn't disregarded, your Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25 per cent.

If no one actually lives in your home see our empty homes page.

For houses that contain full-time students only, the bill will be reduced by 100 per cent. Further information can be found on our student exemption from Council Tax page.

If you think you may qualify for a discount please contact us on ctax@guildford.gov.uk or telephone 0330 123 0081.

Other reductions - Disabled band relief

Disabled people are helped with their Council Tax through the disabled band reduction scheme. This makes sure disabled people don't pay more Council Tax because they needed a larger property due to their disability.

Having a disability does not automatically entitle you to a reduction. In summary, the requirements for a reduction are the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person. It must also have at least one of:

  • an additional bathroom or kitchen required to meet the needs of the disabled person
  • a room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) required to meet the needs of the disabled person, and used predominantly by them
  • extra space inside the property to allow for the use of a wheelchair - wheelchairs for outdoor use only are excluded

The room or the wheelchair must also be of major importance to the disabled person's well-being, due to the extent of their disability.

'Disabled person' in this context means a person who is substantially and permanently disabled. The disabled person can be either an adult or a child and does not have to be responsible for paying the Council Tax bill.

An extra room does not need to have been specially built. But your home will not qualify for a reduction unless the 'essential or of major importance' test above is met. For example, simply rearranging rooms is unlikely to make your home eligible for a reduction.

If your home is eligible, your bill will be reduced to that of a property in the next Council Tax band down. For example, a Band D property will be charged a Band C rate. Even if your property is in Band A (the lowest band) you will still receive a reduction. It will be the same in cash terms as the reductions for homes in Band B, C or D.

Section 11a and 13a

The council may reduce an amount of Council Tax liability to such an extent as it thinks fit. Currently Guildford Borough Council has not determined any additional exemptions or discounts under this power.

If you feel you may qualify for disabled band reduction or would like the council to consider a reduction or discount as mentioned above please contact us on ctax@guildford.gov.uk or telephone 0330 123 0081.

Annexe discount

From 1 April 2014 annexes which are used by the occupier of the main house as part of the main home, or annexes which are occupied by a relative of the person living in the main house will be entitled to a 50 per cent reduction in the Council Tax payable on the annexe.

The 50 percent reduction is on top of any other discount you or your relative may be entitled to. For example, if your adult son is living in the annexe on his own. He will be liable for Council Tax and be entitled to a 25 percent single occupier discount and a 50 percent annexe discount.

The criteria for the annexe discount is:

  1. The annexe must form part of a single property which includes at least one other property. ie. the annexe must be within the grounds of the main house (not necessarily attached) and must be included in the title deeds of the main house and not registered separately.

And either:

  • The annexe is being used by the resident of the main house, as part of their main home,

or

  • The annexe is lived in by a relative of the person who lives in the main house. For this purpose a relative is defined as: a partner, parent, child, step child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew and niece (also includes great grandparent, great grandchild etc. and great great grandparent etc).

If you think you might be entitled to this discount, please complete our annexe discount application form.

Other reductions available for annexes

If you have a close relative who lives in the annexe and they are over 65 years of age or they are either severely mentally impaired or substantially and permanently disabled we may be able to award an exemption from Council Tax for the annexe.

If the annexe is unoccupied and cannot be let separately because of a planning restriction then it could also be exempt.

If have any questions concerning either the discount or exemptions for an annexe please contact us on ctax@guildford.gov.uk or telephone 0330 123 0081.