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Council tax discounts

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Not everyone has to pay the full amount of council tax due for the band their property is in. There are discounts and exemptions that may apply to you. If you think you may qualify for one of these discounts, please download the relevant application form and return it to your local Wiltshire Council office with any evidence required.

Single person discounts

If you are the only adult living in the property you may qualify for a 25% single person discount on your council tax (you will not be considered as the only adult living in the property where another person is working away from home).

Please use this form if:

  • you are 18 or over and have always lived in this property alone
  • you are 18 or over and the only other people living in the property are under 18
  • you shared the property with someone else but they have now permanently moved out and you are the only person 18 or over left in the property

Where there is more than one person over 18 living in the property, it may still be possible to claim a discount, please see additional council tax discounts below.

    Students

    A student is a person who is:

    1. A foreign language assistant registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.

    or

    2. Undertaking a full time course of education and is enrolled at a prescribed educational establishment on a course:

    • of at least one year: normally for 24 weeks during the year
    • study, tuition or work experience is an average of 21 hours each week

    or

    3. Undertaking a qualifying course of education and is aged under 20 years and is NOT:

    • on a full-time course of education
    • undertaking the course as a result of employment
    • an apprentice or youth training trainee
    • primarily taught through correspondence

    The course(s) must:

    • last for more than 3 calendar months
    • average more than 12 hours per week
    • be mainly carried out between the hours of 8.00am and 5.30pm

    Required evidence: completed application form with a student certificate from the college or university.

    Apprentices, student nurses or youth trainees

    An apprentice is a person who is:

    • learning a trade, profession, vocation etc
    • undertaking a training programme that is accredited by the National Council for Vocational qualifications or the Scottish equivalent, and
    • receiving an allowance or salary less than would be paid if qualified, and in any case less than £195 gross (before deductions) per week

    Required evidence: certificate or letter from employer confirming apprenticeship status

    A student nurse is a person who is:

    • attending a college of nursing and midwifery, or
    • a college of heath, and
    • the course, if successfully completed, would lead to first registration on the Register maintained under section 10 or the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979

    Required evidence: student certificate

    A youth trainee is a person who is:

    • under the age of 25 years, and undertaking training under arrangements that constitute an approved training scheme as defined in section 28 (6) I or the Social Security contributions and Benefits Act 1992

    Required evidence: completed application form with certificate or letter from the training provider

    Disabled persons

    A discount can be given when there is a disabled person resident and one of the following is a feature of the home:

    • a room other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory is used predominantly by the disabled person (e.g. an extension or existing room used for storing dialysis equipment, or a wheelchair (wheelchairs for outdoor use only are excluded) or a bedroom on the ground floor of a property with 2 or more storeys)
    • a second bathroom or kitchen
    • extra space in the home to allow a wheelchair to be used indoors (the disabled person must use the wheelchair indoors)

    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.

    Required evidence: completed application and in order to qualify for this discount a member of staff will need to visit the property.

    Severely mentally impaired people

    The severely mentally impaired discount may apply for a person who:

    • has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent,
    • has a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner,

    and

    • is entitled to (though not necessarily in receipt of) one of the following benefits:

    Qualifying benefits:

    • Incapacity Benefit
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Severe Disablement Allowance
    • the highest or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or the standard or enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payments Daily Living component.
    • an increase in the rate of disablement pension for constant attendance
    • a disability element of working tax credit
    • an unemployability supplement
    • Constant Attendance Allowance payable under the industrial injuries or war pensions schemes
    • an unemployability allowance under the industrial injuries or war pensions schemes
    • Income Support which includes a disability premium because of incapacity for work

    Required evidence: completed application form and a letter or certificate of severe mental impairment from the person’s doctor along with proof of the qualifying benefit

    Carers

    Under council tax legislation a person is considered to be a carer if they are:

    1. providing care to a person entitled to one of the following benefits:

    • higher rate Attendance Allowance
    • the highest rate of the care component of a Disability Living Allowance
    • an increase in a Constant Attendant Allowance
    • an increase in his/her Disablement Pension
    • the highest rate of Constant Attendance Allowance payable on top of full rate Disablement Benefit paid for an industrial injury

    2. Resident in the same property as the person they are providing care for

    3. Providing care for at least 35 hours per week on average

    And they are not:

    • the partner of the person being cared for
    • the parent of the person being cared for, who is a child below the age of 18

    Required evidence: completed application form and proof of a qualifying benefit.

    Persons in care, nursing homes and hospitals

    Care homes

    A residential care home must be registered under:

    • The Residential Homes Act 1984 or
    • The National Assistance Act 1948 or
    • The National Health Service Act 1977 or
    • be residential accommodation provided and run by the Abbeyfield Society or a body affiliated to the Society (homes with three beds or less may be exempt from registration)

    A nursing home is:

    • an establishment which is a nursing home within the meaning of the Registered Homes Act 1984 or
    • an establishment which is a mental nursing home within the meaning of that Act

    Hospitals

    • · During temporary stays in hospital you do not qualify for a discount in your council tax.
    • · During long term stays in hospital you may qualify for a discount in your council tax.

    If someone has a short stay in hospital it has no effect on council tax liability or the amount of tax that must be paid. If the person has been, or is likely to be, in a hospital for so long that s/he can no longer be considered to be solely or even mainly resident in her/his home, then s/he should be ignored for the purpose of a discount. A dwelling left empty by someone who is solely or mainly resident in hospital is exempt from the council tax.

    Most hospitals are subject to non-domestic rates, but some types of long-stay hospitals can be considered dwellings for council tax purposes. Persons who are solely or mainly resident in such a hospital are disregarded for the purposes of a discount. In this context, and for the purpose of exemptions, a ‘hospital’ means:

    • an NHS hospital including any NHS trust hospital; and
    • a military, air force or naval unit or establishment in which medical or surgical treatment is provided

    Required evidence: completed application form and letter from institution showing admission date

    Persons in detention

    A discount applies if a person is:

    • held in a prison, a hospital or any other place by a British court
    • held under the deportation provisions of the Immigration Act 1971
    • held under the Mental Health Act 1983
    • imprisoned, detained or in custody for more than 48 hours under the Army Act 1955,the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957

    A person who is in police custody before their first court appearance, or who is detained for non-payment of council tax or non-payment of a fine, is not treated as detained for the purpose of a discount.

    A prisoner on temporary release is treated as being detained.

    Required evidence: completed application form

    Members of religious communities

    A person is a member of a religious community if:

    • the principal occupation of the community consists of prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering, or any combination of these

    and

    • s/he has no income or capital of her/his own and is dependent n the community to provide for her/his material needs

    Required evidence: completed application form

    Members of visiting defence forces, foreign defence organisation or international headquarters

    A person who has a relevant association with a visiting force will not be taken into account when assessing the number of adults living in a property.

    A visiting force is anybody, contingent or detachment of the forces of a country to which the Visiting Forces Act 1952 applies.

    A “relevant association” is:

    • being a member of that visiting force or a member of a civilian component of that force, or
    • being a person, not a citizen of the United Kingdom or ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, but being a dependant of a member of that visiting force or of a civilian component of that force

    The countries listed in the Visiting Forces and International Headquarters (Application of Law) Order 1965 are:

    Australia Malta
    Belgium New Zealand
    Canada Nigeria
    Denmark Norway
    France Pakistan
    Gambia Portugal
    Germany Sierra Leone
    Ghana Sri Lanka
    Greece Tanzania
    India The Netherlands
    Italy The Republic of Cyprus
    Jamaica Trinidad and Tobago
    Kenya Turkey
    Luxembourg Uganda
    Malawi USA
    Malaysia Zambia

    In the case of U.S. civilian employees only, please provide a copy of your U.S. passport showing both CES stamps, together with a current U.S. civilian D.O.D. ID card verifying current D.O.D. employment.

    Required evidence: completed application form

    If we give you a discount or exemption on your council tax and your circumstances change, you must tell us immediately.

    If you think you may qualify for any kind of discount and need help with your application, please contact your local office contact details on the tabs shown below. If you do not know if you are in North, South, East or West Wiltshire, please select your address using the post code checker.

    Army and Service Personnel

    We are unable to grant a discount at the property if one of the occupiers is away in the armed forces. This is because the house would still be classed as their main residence for taxation purposes. This applies to all those in the armed forces throughout the country and is in accordance with the government guidelines.

    However, all armed forces personnel deployed on operations overseas, who normally pay council tax, will now benefit from a tax-free payment on the cost of council tax paid directly by the Ministry of Defence. Following the announcement by the Chancellor in his 2012 Budget statement, Council Tax Relief will be worth just under £600 (based upon 2012/13 council tax) for an average six-month deployment based on the average Council Tax per dwelling in England. This will continue to be paid at a flat rate to all eligible personnel. please visit www.mod.uk for more information.

    Property Discounts

    Property requiring or undergoing structural alteration or major repair

    From the 1 April 2013, a property requiring or undergoing structural alteration or major repair which is substantially unfurnished and unoccupied may be entitled to a discount for up to 12 months (3 months at 100% and 9 months at 50%). Upon completion of the works or once the 12 month discount has expired (whichever is shorter), the standard 100% charge for properties which is no-one’s main residence will apply.

    Please note that this discount applies to the property and not the owner. This means that if a new owner takes over a property and wishes to claim this discount, but the previous owner had already claimed part or all of the discount up to the point of sale, the new owner will only be entitled to the remaining period of the discount, if any.

    Property which is unfurnished and unoccupied

    From the 1 April 2013, a property which is unfurnished and unoccupied will receive a discount for up to 6 months (3 months at 100% and 3 months at 50%). After the 6 month period has expired, a 100% charge becomes payable.

    Please note that this discount applies to the property and not the owner. This means that if a new owner takes over a property and wishes to claim this discount, but the previous owner had already claimed part or all of the discount up to the point of sale, the new owner will only be entitled to the remaining period of the discount, if any.

    And a link to the ‘Application for a council tax discount – uninhabitable property’ (please refer to the attachment for the application form)

    Council Tax – Changes to properties with annexes

    From 1 April 2014, a new Council Tax discount of 50% is being introduced for family annexes.

    If you currently have an annexe which is lived in by a family member you can receive a 50% discount on the annexe from 1 April 2014.

    In order to qualify for the discount, the annexe must be either used by the resident(s) of the main property or occupied by a family member. If a non family member occupies the annexe the discount will not apply.

    Some annexes are already exempt from Council Tax and these will not be affected by the new discount and will continue to be exempt.

    If you think you may qualify for the discount please contact the Council Tax section on 0300 456 0109.

    Fair processing statement

    We will keep and use your personal information in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

    This authority is under a duty to protect the public funds that it administers and, to this end, may use the information you have provided to the authority for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies administering or in receipt of public funds, such as HM Revenues and Customs.

    The council participates in data matching exercises through the National Fraud Initiative. These exercises match the data held by the council with that of other agencies, including other local authorities and government departments to:

    • prevent or detect benefit fraud or any other crime
    • support national fraud initiatives
    • protect public funds
    Read more about the National Fraud Initiative

    Contact Details (LiveLink)

    Multiple Contacts:

    Call Us:
    0300 456 0109

    Please send your enquiries to:
    Revenues Service
    Wiltshire Council
    Collections - Council Tax
    P.O. Box 4385
    Trowbridge
    BA14 4DS

    Please send all payments to:
    Collections
    PO Box 4385
    Trowbridge
    BA14 4DS

    Email:
    counciltax@wiltshire.gov.uk


    eMail:
    Telephone:
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    Fax:
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    In Person:
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    Last updated: 19 February 2014

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    Contact details

    Call Us:
    0300 456 0109

    Please send your enquiries to:
    Revenues Service
    Wiltshire Council
    Collections - Council Tax
    P.O. Box 4385
    Trowbridge
    BA14 4DS

    Please send all payments to:
    Collections
    PO Box 4385
    Trowbridge
    BA14 4DS

    Email:
    counciltax@wiltshire.gov.uk

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