Student Council Tax discount and exemptions
For Council Tax purposes, an adult is someone who is aged 18 years or over. Adults who are full-time students are not counted when working out the Council Tax bill.
- any household which is occupied only by full-time students will qualify for a 100% exemption and will not pay any Council Tax
- any household occupied by full-time students, apart from one person who is not a student, will receive a discount of 25%. This is because the full-time students are "disregarded" but the non-student is not.
Who qualifies as a full-time student?
A student for Council Tax purposes is a person who is either:
- a Foreign Language Assistant registered with the British Council
- taking a full-time course of education at a prescribed educational establishment in the UK (including universities on the ERASMUS programme within the European Union). A full-time course is one that lasts for at least one academic or calendar year. They have periods of study, tuition or work experience for at least 21 hours per week on average over a period of at least 24 weeks. Examples of this type of course are a first Degree or a higher Degree
- aged under 20 years and taking a qualifying course of education. A qualifying course of education is one usually studied between the hours of 8am-5.30pm. The course must last for more than three months and be more than 12 hours per week, or if taking more than one course the total number of hours. Examples of this type of course are A Levels, NVQ Level 3, ONC or OND. A correspondence course is not a qualifying course of education
- a student's spouse/partner/civil partner or dependant who is a non-British citizen and cannot take paid employment or claim benefits while in the UK
- anyone aged 18 or 19 who has left school or college between 1 May and 31 October in any year. To qualify the person must have stopped doing a qualifying course of education, for example A Levels between the 1 May and 31 October. If awarded this discount it will last up to the 31 October in any year.
If none of these definitions of a "full-time student" are met then no exemption or discount disregard from Council Tax can be applied for. This applies even if the university or college defines the course as "full-time".
What happens during the summer vacation?
If your course is for two or more years then you are still classed as a full-time student during the summer months between terms, even if you work during the summer.
You stop being classed as a full-time student for Council Tax purposes when your course ends (as shown on the student certificate), if the college closes, or if you drop out of the course or are dismissed from the course.
Students between courses
If you are moving from one course to another, for example you have finished an HND course and you are moving onto a degree course, you are not classed as a full-time student for the time between the two courses. This is because you are not within the formal period of either course.
There is one exception to this rule. If you are aged 18 or 19, leaving a school or college and have stopped doing a qualifying course of education between the 1 May and 31 October, you will still retain your full-time student status between these two dates.
Important information for students who study at Northumbria University and Sunderland University
Your details may already have been given to us if you study at Northumbria University or Sunderland University. This means you do not have to submit your Student Certificate to confirm your entitlement, speeding up your application.
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