Council Tax explanatory notes


People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you needs a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, extra space for a wheelchair to be used indoors you may be entitled to a reduced Council Tax bill.

The bill may be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band of your property. If your home is in band A, you may still be entitled to a reduction even though there is no lower band in the valuation list.

These reductions ensure disabled people do not pay more tax because of space needed due to a disability.

Discounts

Full Council Tax is based on two adults living in a property. If only one adult lives in the property the Council Tax may be reduced by 25%.

The following people do not count when deciding how many people live in your home:

  • Full time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Trainees
  • Non-British spouses of students
  • People living permanently in Care Homes or Hospitals
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • People in hostels for the homeless or night shelters
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school or college, or in respect of whom child benefit is payable
  • Care workers working for low pay usually charities
  • People caring for someone with a disability who is not their spouse, partner or child under 18
  • Members and dependants of International headquarters and Defence organisations
  • Members and Dependants of visiting forces
  • People with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Members of religious communities
  • People in prison, unless this is for not paying Council Tax or a fine

Discounts for annexes

  • Annexes occupied by non-dependant relatives are subject to a 50% discount
  • Annexes being used as part of the main residence are subject to a 50% discount

A discount is no longer given for a property that requires or is undergoing major repair work to render it habitable, or is undergoing structural alteration.

Care leavers

If you've left care, and Kent County Council has appointed you a personal adviser, please pass your bill to them to arrange payment.

Further information on their local offer is available at the Kent County Council's Care leavers local offer page.

Empty Properties

Unoccupied properties no longer receive a discount from the date furniture is removed.

The Government considered changes to the amount levied to tackle the 200,000 empty homes in England and introduced those changes in the Rating (Property In Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018.

On 27 February 2019 we approved changes to the long term empty premium as follows:

From 1 April 2019 – properties that have been empty for more than 2 years now attract 100 per cent premium previously this was 50 per cent

From 1 April 2020 – properties that have been empty for more than 5 years will attract 200 per cent premium

From 1 April 2021 – properties that have been empty for more than 10 years will attract 300 per cent premium

Exempt properties

Occupied properties are exempt in the following cases:

  • Halls of residence for students, dwellings occupied by students, school or college leavers or certain spouses or dependants of students
  • Accommodation for the UK armed forces
  • Members and dependants of visiting forces
  • Dwellings occupied only by persons under 18
  • Dwellings occupied by the severely mentally impaired
  • Dwellings which are the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Occupied annexes dependant relative

Unoccupied properties are exempt in the following cases:

  • Properties owned by charities and used for charitable purposes for up to 6 months
  • Caravan pitches and moorings for boats
  • The person who was liable for the Council Tax has died
  • Occupation is prohibited by law
  • The dwelling is held for a minister of religion
  • Left unoccupied by a student
  • In possession of the mortgagee
  • Left empty by a bankrupt
  • An unoccupied annexe to an occupied dwelling, where the annexe cannot be let separately without breach of planning
  • Left empty by a person living in a hospital, hostel or care home
  • Left empty by a person needing personal care
  • Left empty by a person providing personal care

For more information about discounts visit our Discounts and Reductions page.

Changes in circumstances

You can tell us about a change in your circumstances on our Changes in Circumstances page.

Someone leaving or joining your household or reaching their 18th birthday may affect any discounts you receive. You'll need to tell us about any discounts you think you may be entitled to.

If you do not tell us about changes, you may have to pay a penalty of £70.

If you've applied for Council Tax Support because you're on a low income and the amount you have been awarded does not meet your full Council Tax liability, you may be entitled to further assistance under Section 13A of the Council Tax regulations.

For more information please visit our Problems Paying Council Tax? page.

If you've applied for or are in receipt of Universal Credit and are liable for Council Tax, you must make a separate application for Council Tax Support as it's not part of Universal Credit. To apply visit our Apply for Council Tax Support page.

If you think you're not liable for the Council Tax, or a discount should have been awarded, please contact us and we'll review your case.

If you're not happy with the outcome we'll advise you how to appeal it

How to contact us

If you have any further queries visit our Contact Us page

To receive your bill by email, rather than in the post

You can sign up for paperless bills using our online form.

Sign Up for Paperless Bills

How to pay

You can find out more about the different ways to pay your Council Tax on our Pay your Council Bill Page.