What is council tax?
Council Tax is money paid to your local authority. It funds a range of local services, including rubbish collection, parks, libraries, transport, police and fire services.
How much is council tax?
Where you live and the type of property you live in determine the Council Tax rate. Council Tax ‘bands’ range from A to H with the rates increasing along the alphabet. So, properties in band A pay less Council Tax than properties in band H. You can check your property’s Council Tax band through the government website.
Does everyone have to pay council tax?
No, you may be exempt from paying council tax if you're a student, care leaver, or looking after someone not in the family.
Full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax if sharing a house with other full-time students, and people who live on their own have a 25% reduction. People with severe mental impairments are also exempt, as are live-in carers who look after someone who is not their partner, spouse or child.
Recently, as a result of our campaigning, many councils across the UK have also exempted care leavers from needing to pay council tax. Check to see if your council has exempted care leavers .
Can I get a reduced council tax bill?
If you live in a larger property because someone in the home is disabled, you may be entitled to have your council tax reduced by one band. Check if you qualify for a council tax discount.
You can also apply for Council Tax Benefit if you are on a low-income. This may mean that you receive a reduced Council Tax bill. If you are on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support, you may also get a reduced bill.
What happens if I don't pay my bill?
If you miss a payment you may have to pay the whole year’s bill in one go, rather than monthly instalments. Failure to pay your Council Tax bill can result in legal action, bailiffs taking your possessions, and even prison.
The Mix website has lots of information about Council Tax reductions and what to do if you are a student