There are a number of situations in which people can qualify for Council Tax discounts, reductions or exemptions based upon the status of the property and/or its residents.
You can apply for some Council Tax discounts using Council Tax Online
Reductions you can claim
Residents who are disregarded
Council Tax is based upon 2 adults living in a property. Some residents can be disregarded, reducing the number of residents for tax purposes.
For example, if there are two adults living in a property, but one of them is a full-time student, the number of residents for Council Tax purposes is 1, and the non-student would qualify for a discount of 25%.
The following types of resident are not counted for tax purposes:
- full time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees, non-British spouses of students
- patients resident in a hospital
- being looked after in care homes
- severely mentally impaired
- staying in certain hostels and night shelters
- 18 and 19 year-olds who are at, or have just left, school
- care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
- caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
- members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
- members of religious communities (i.e., monks and nuns)
- in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
Single occupancy discount
If only one adult lives in a property, as their sole or main residence, the Council Tax bill is reduced by 25%.
You can apply for or cancel your Single Occupancy discount
Care Leaver discount
There is a 100% discount for people who leave care in Walsall, if:
- Walsall Council was the Corporate Parent
- the care leaver is liable for Council Tax and resident in the Walsall area
- the care leaver is under the age of 25
Occupied properties that are exempt
If a dwelling meets any of the following criteria, it does not incur Council Tax:
- students’ halls of residence
- a dwelling only occupied by students
- UK armed forces accommodation
- visiting forces accommodation
- a dwelling occupied only by people under 18
- a dwelling occupied only by a person or persons who is/are severely mentally impaired and who would otherwise have to pay council tax
- a dwelling occupied by a diplomat
- an annexe to another occupied dwelling which is occupied by an elderly or disabled relative
Empty and vacant properties
There is no Council Tax reduction for empty or vacant properties.
If a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 2 years (and is not exempt) then it will be subject to double the normal rate of Council Tax.
From 1 April 2020 if a property has been empty for more than 5 years, then it will be subject to 3 times the normal rate of Council Tax.
From April 2021 if a property has been empty for more than ten years, then it will be subject to 4 times the normal rate of Council Tax.
Vacant dwellings do not incur Council Tax, if they:
- are owned by a charity (exempt for up to 6 months)
- are left empty by someone who has gone into prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
- are left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital/home or elsewhere
- are waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and up to six months after)
- are empty because their occupation is prohibited by law
- are waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
- are left empty by someone living elsewhere because they are providing personal care to another person
- are left empty by students
- have been repossessed
- are the responsibility of a bankrupt’s trustee
- are caravan pitches or boat moorings
- are dwellings in the form of an annexe to another occupied dwelling