Council tax - discounts and premium
If you think you may be entitled to a council tax discount or to tell us about a change in circumstances regarding a discount please use one of our online forms.
The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25%.
Cornwall Council allows the following discounts for the following circumstances:-
- 100% Local Discount - For up to 1 month where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished. This discount is applicable from 1 April 2013 and applies to the property not the council tax payer so if the previous liable payer left the property empty and unfurnished before you took over it is possible that a partial discount or no discount will be applied to your account.
- 50% Local Discount - For up to 12 months where the property is unoccupied and unfurnished and major repairs or structural alterations are required, undergoing or recently completed to make the property habitable. Evidence such as photos, estimates and invoices will be required. Please contact us in advance for further advice This discount is applicable from 1 April 2013 and restrictions may apply. Any information you supply that results in us granting a 50% discount will be shared with the building control service. Building regulations apply to most building work so it is important to find out if you need to apply for permission. Although the information you supply to support your application for this discount is shared with the building control service, you will still need to make a separate application to the building control service for any works you are undertaking that require building regulation permission.
25% Discount - Where a single adult has their sole or main residence within the chargeable dwelling. Apply for a single person discount - You will be asked to provide your council tax account number and an email address. Use this online form to apply for a single person’s discount. You will be asked the effective date, whether you are the sole occupier, whether a second adult should be disregarded for council tax purposes or whether a second adult has moved out.
Adult over 18 moved out - You will be asked to provide your council tax account number and an email address. Use this online form to tell us the name of the adult who has moved out, the effective date, their forwarding address and whether you are now the sole occupier.
Adult over 18 moved in - You will be asked to provide your council tax account number and an email address. Use this online form to tell us the name of the adult who has moved in, the effective date, their previous address, whether you are currently receiving a discount or disregard and how many adults over 18 are now in the property. You are able to provide further details if the adult is to be disregarded.
- 25% Discount - More than one adult has their sole or main residence within the dwelling where all but one of the persons are disregarded (see explanation below)
50% Discount - Where all the persons in the premises are disregarded (see explanation below).
50% Discount - In certain circumstances where a person is required to occupy an alternative property which is job related.
Disabled Reduction - Where a property has been adapted to suit the needs of a disabled person. (see explanation on disabled reduction)
- 50% Annexe Reduction - Where people living in annexes with a separate council tax liability to the main property are related to the person liable to pay the council tax for the main property (see explanation on annexe reduction ).
Empty Homes Premium
Since 1 April 2013 where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of 2 years or more a 50% empty homes premium is payable. Annexes being used as part of the main dwelling, and dwellings not occupied by service personnel posted away from home may not be subject to this premium.
In 2013, the Government amended regulations to allow councils to reduce the level of discount awarded for empty properties which are furnished, often referred to as second homes. Cornwall Council reduced the 10% discount awarded to these properties to 0%.
This gives help towards your Council tax bill if the appropriate disability criteria are satisfied.
To qualify for a reduction your home must contain either:
- a room which is not a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory and is mainly used for meeting the needs of a disabled person - for example, a room set aside for dialysis or other therapy
- an extra bathroom or kitchen for use by the disabled person.
- extra space inside the property to allow for use of a wheelchair.
The use of an additional room as a bedroom may qualify for the disabled reduction where there is a link between the applicant's disability and the use of the room as a bedroom, for example:
- a disabled person who is unable to use their customary bedroom because of mobility problems or other impairments
- members of a couple who have to use separate bedrooms because of interruptions to sleep caused by their disabling conditions
- an extra bedroom needed for a carer
- where use of a room as a bedroom prevents or changes the use and occupation of the room by the rest of the household
If a room within your household is being used as an additional bedroom and there is a significant link between the use of the room and the person's disability, please provide evidence of this when submitting your application form.
The person with the disability could be an adult or a child. The extra room or facility must be essential to enable them to live in the property or to prevent their health suffering or their disability becoming more severe.
If you qualify for this reduction your council tax charge will be reduced by one property band; for example, if you currently pay a band C charge your new charge will be reduced to a band B charge. If you live in a band A property your council tax will be reduced by a ninth (1/9) of the band D charge.
Use this online form to apply for a disabled reduction. You will be asked to provide your council tax account number and an email address. You will be asked the effective date, disabled persons name, nature of disability and grounds for application.
There is a 50% reduction for council tax where people living in annexes with a separate council tax liability to the main property are related to the person liable to pay the council tax for the main property.
An annexe is a dwelling which forms part of a single property that includes at least one other dwelling. A person is to be regarded as the relative of another if a person.
- is the spouse or civil partner of that person, or
- is that person’s parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, great-uncle, great-aunt, great-nephew or great-niece, or
- is that person’s great-great-grandparent, great-great-grandchild, great-great-uncle, great-great-aunt, great-great-nephew or great-great-niece; and
The reduction will not impact on other exemptions or discounts applied to the main property.
The reduction also applies if the annexe is not occupied separately but is being used as part of the main residence.
Use this online form to apply for an annexe reduction. You will be asked to provide your council tax account number and an email address. You will be asked questions about the main property and annexe, whether the annexe is occupied, details of the occupants relationship to occupiers of the main property, whether the annexe is furnished or unfurnished, how the annexe is being used and the effective date.
Disregarded persons for discount purposes
Certain personal circumstances can give rise to an individual being disregarded (not counted) when calculating the number of residents in a household for council tax and discount purposes.
People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a dwelling:
- Full-time students
- Full-time students under the age of 20
- Student nurses
- Youth Training trainees
- Persons for whom Child Benefits is payable
- Patients permanently resident in a hospital
- Patients permanently resident in a home
- Care workers (see explanation below)
- Persons with a severe mental impairment
- Persons in detention
- Visiting Forces
- Religious communities
Any discount arising from the above list will depend on the number of adults living in the property.
To qualify as a care worker, you must provide care or support for at least 35 hours a week to another person who lives with you. This person must not be your partner, spouse or child aged under 18. The person being cared for must also be entitled to one of the following benefits:
- Attendance Allowance
- The highest or middle rate care component of disability living allowance
- Increase in a constant attendance allowance
- The appropriately increased rate of disablement pension
Change in circumstances
You must notify us of a change in your circumstances within 21 days, and you may be liable to a penalty of £70.00 if:
- You do not supply information to identify the liable person and we have asked you for this
- You knowingly supply inaccurate information
- You fail to let us know about a change in circumstances which affects any discount or exemption you are currently receiving
Use this online form to tell us your disregard or discount should end. You will be asked to provide your council tax account number and an email address. You will be asked the date the discount or disregard is to end and the reason.