Discounts and exemptions 

There are a number of Council Tax reductions available, that can be applied to your bill in various circumstances. If you think you may be entitled to a discount, and this is not shown on your bill you should contact us.  If your bill shows that a discount or exemption has been applied and your circumstances have changed, then let us know straight away.

If you don't you could be liable to pay a penalty of £70. Failure to provide the correct information may make you liable to pay a further penalty of £200.

Discounts

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If you are the only adult living in your home or if your main residence is classed as a job-related residence, your bill can be reduced. Some people are not included when counting the number of adult residents in a dwelling, download and complete the relevant forms if you think you are eligible:

  • full-time students, non-British spouses/dependents of students
Download 
  • student nurses and Youth Training trainees

Download

  • apprentices
Download
  • patients permanently a resident in the hospital
 
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
 
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
Download
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
 
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school
Download
  • careworkers working for low pay, usually for charities
 
  • people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
Download
  • members of visiting overseas forces and certain international institutions
 
  • members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
 
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
Download
  • diplomats and members of international organisations headquartered in the UK
 

Empty properties 

If a property is unoccupied, a 100% discount will apply for one month since the property was last empty and unfurnished, after which a 100% charge will apply.

Newly built properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished will receive a 100% discount for 3 months, after which they will be liable for a 50% charge for the next 3 months, and then on expiry of that, a full charge.

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties in need of or undergoing major repair work to render them habitable or undergoing structural alteration can now claim a 100% discount for a maximum period of 12 months, instead of an exemption. After 12 months a 100% charge applies.

Download and complete the relevant forms: 

Property left unoccupied and substantially unfurnished

Download
Property requiring or undergoing major repairs or undergoing structural alteration Download

 

Long term empty premium

From 1st April 2013, all properties (apart from some unoccupied annexes or job-related Ministry of Defence accommodation) which have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 2 years will be liable to pay 150%. The 2 years can have started before 1st April 2013. If at 1st April 2013, the property had not been empty and unfurnished for 2 years, the charge will be 100% until the 2 years expires, when it will become a charge of 150%.

Following changes to legislation during 2018, the premium will now be increased to 100% from 1st April 2019. This means that you will now be liable to pay 200% from this date, if your property has been empty & unfurnished for 2 years or more as at 1st April 2019.

When deciding whether the premium should apply we may take into consideration the reasons why properties are unoccupied and unfurnished, including whether they are available for sale or rent. Please contact us at revenues@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk  if you wish to discuss this further.  

Family annexes

If you currently have an annexe which is lived in by a family member, you can receive a 50% Council Tax discount on the annexe. The discount is not based on occupation or furniture but on the use of the annexe by the resident of the main building or occupation by a family member. If a non-family member occupies an annexe the discount will not apply. For more details about annexes visit www.gov.uk

Application for Council Tax Annexe discount form Download

People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you, is in need of an extra bathroom, adapted kitchen, or extra space in your property because of wheelchair use indoors, you may be entitled to a reduced Council Tax bill.

(Financial and technical assistance is available to assist in adapting homes to meet the needs of disabled children and adults. For more information see our Disabled Facilities Grants page.)

If your home has any special fixtures which have been added for a disabled resident which reduce the home's value and you do not think they have been taken into account in the valuation band to which your home has been assigned you should contact the Listing Officer (see Appeals).

You may also be entitled to travel concessions

For more information about disabilities can be found on the Worcestershire County Council website.

Application for Council Tax disablement reduction Download

Second home discount

If your reasons for having a second home is job-related, you may be eligible for a 50% discount. You may qualify for a discount if you are liable for paying Council Tax on a second furnished property, a discount will be applied to the dwelling which is not your main residence.

One of the properties must fall into Class A, B or C shown below:

A - The property is provided to you, or to your spouse/civil partner, because of your employment and it is necessary for proper performance of duties (as stated in your employment contract) i.e. tied accommodation.

B - The property is occupied as a residence from which you, or your spouse/civil partner, perform the duties of a Minister of any religious denomination.

C - You are in the armed forces and have your main residence in the UK in Ministry of Defence accommodation which is exempt from Council Tax under Class O.

This discount is not applicable:

  • if you have a second property in the locality of your place of work but you do not perform the duties of your employment from that address. There must be a direct link between your work and the property, such as a caretaker, landlord of a pub or schoolmaster
  • unless both your addresses are in England, Wales or Scotland 
  • If you are not the liable person for council tax at both properties (unless the property is provided by the ministry of defence or for a minister of religion to perform his duties)
  • if you are a director or a partner in the company providing the accommodation (unless you are a full time working director/partner or the company is non-profit making or charitable).
Application for Council Tax second home discount Download

 

Single person discount

If you are the only adult that lives in your property (as their main home) and you are over the age of 18 years old, your Council Tax bill will be reduced by a 25%.

Apply for a single person discount Download

 

Review of Council Tax single person discounts:

Wychavon District Council is currently conducting a review of all single person discounts granted to residents who live alone. This exercise is being undertaken by Civica on behalf of the Council.

Our aim is to provide residents with the best possible service during the review by offering clear instructions for completing the forms that should be returned.

However, on occasion, circumstances may not be so easy to explain.  To help in this situation, we have included below, the most frequently asked questions that can arise throughout the period of the review:

The council has a duty to protect the public purse and to ensure that where a discount is awarded there is a genuine entitlement to that discount. We are simply verifying that you are still entitled to the discount.

Please fill out and return the form to the address on the letter.

If you are the only adult over 18 occupying your property, simply tick the relevant box, sign and date the form at the bottom and return to the address at the bottom of the letter.

If there is more than one adult living at the property, please provide their name, date of birth, the date on which they moved in and their previous address. If you think they should not be counted for Council Tax purposes, for example if they are an apprentice or if Child Benefit is still in payment for them, you should tell us why. Evidence may be required such as a bank statement to show that you are getting Child Benefit for the person over 18. 

We may need to contact you again for more information so it is helpful if you provide us with an email address or telephone number. Or, if you need assistance with what evidence you may need to provide, please email the Council Tax Review Team at: ctaxreview.wychavon@civica.co.uk or phone 0300 456 3528.

We will assume that your situation has changed and you are no longer entitled to the discount.  Your single person discount will be removed and a revised demand will be sent to you.

We do not hold any credit information. If you want to see your credit file, you should contact any of the major credit referencing agencies:

  • CallCredit
  • Experian
  • Equifax

As long as the form is returned within a reasonable amount of time, you will not be penalised.  If the form is very late, you may end up receiving a reminder letter.  If you do receive a reminder letter, you should complete the form as previously requested.

Please provide their name and the address at which they actually live so that it can be verified.  You can supply more information if you think it relevant to assist your claim.

You need to write on the envelope that the person no longer lives at the address and return it to the sender.

If your friend keeps their belongings at your house it will be classed as their main residence and you will no longer be eligible for the discount.  Some of the questions we may ask are:

  • Where does your friend stay for the other nights?  If they stay at various addresses but keep their belongings at your property, their main residence would be your address.
  • What address do their doctor / dentist hold for them?  If it is your address, it is their main residence.
  • Does your friend work away and stay at your address on their days off?  Your address would be their main residence.

You should provide as much information as possible – if necessary, you can use a separate sheet.  If you are unsure, please email:  ctaxreview.wychavon@civica.co.uk for advice. 

Civica provides services in revenues and benefits processing work for many local authorities throughout the country.  Civica has a dedicated and specialist team of experienced Council Tax officers to carry out discount reviews.  The law allows for the contracting out of Council Tax functions; you can find out more at www.gov.uk

Civica matches the Council Tax database with third party sources and specialist validation services.  Addresses of those in receipt of a single person discount are passed to an agency that runs a search to match other data sources such as the electoral register or credit agreements.  The agency then provides Civica with a list of possible adults at the property.

No. Civica holds the data for the correct purposes i.e. the levying and collection of a tax.  The data is held for as long as required then destroyed.  No database is compiled that could be shared with or accessed by other bodies or sources.

Exemptions

Some dwellings are exempt from Council Tax. These are the classes of exempt dwellings download and complete the applicable forms:

A.

Uninhabitable property and empty property undergoing structural alteration or repairs. (Please note that from 1st April 2013, the government has abolished this exemption. We are replacing this with a discount of 100%. This discount will apply for a maximum period of 12 months (as long as the property remains empty and unfurnished).  After 12 months a 100% charge applies. Class D Discount - dwellings requiring or undergoing major repairs or undergoing structural alteration.)

 
B. Unoccupied property owned by a charity, for a period of up to six months since last occupied.  After six months a 100% charge applies.  
C. Please note that from 01 April 2013, the government has replaced this exemption with a discount. This will be awarded as a local discount.  
D. Unoccupied property because the person who would otherwise occupy the property is in prison. Download
E. Unoccupied property because the person who would otherwise occupy the property is a permanent resident in a hospital or a nursing home. Download
F. Unoccupied property where probate or letters of administration have not yet been granted, and for a period of up to six months after the date such grant is made.  A 100% charge will then apply.  
G. Empty property whose occupation is prohibited by law.  This may include properties where a planning restriction on occupation applies. Download
H. Unoccupied property held available for use of ministers of religion from which to carry out their duties.  
I. Unoccupied because the person subject to the tax has their sole or main residence elsewhere in order to receive care. Download
J. Unoccupied because the person subject to the tax has their sole or main residence elsewhere in order to provide care. Download
K. Unoccupied, where the person subject to the tax is a student and has been since he/she last occupied the property.  
L. Property that has been repossessed under a mortgage.  
M. Student halls of residence.  
N. Premises where ALL the residents are students. Download
O. Property owned by the Ministry of Defence and held available for occupation by serving personnel.  
P. Property occupied by members of visiting forces or certain international organisations.  
Q. Property left empty by a bankrupt.  
R. Unused caravan pitch or boat mooring.  
S. Property occupied only by people under 18 years of age. Download
T. Unoccupied ancillary accommodation (e.g. annexes) which may not be let separately without being in breach of planning regulations. Download
U. Property occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired. Download
V. Property occupied by a foreign diplomat or a member of an international organisation headquartered in the U.K.  
W. Any part of a property (e.g. annexes) which is occupied by a dependent relative where the relative is either over 65, severely mentally impaired, or substantially and permanently disabled. Download


This list is a summary for guidance only. If you believe your property may qualify, please contact us.