Moving to university comes with its challenges, some easier than others. One of these challenges is having to wrap your head around the world of expenses and taxes.

Many students struggle to get to grips with things such as council tax, mostly because it’s something that they’ve not had to look into before. In this blog we’ll be briefly going over what council tax is and more importantly how to apply for your council tax exemption as a student.

So, what is council tax?

Put simply, council tax is a fee that is paid annually for the services your council provides. These services include things like rubbish collection, the upkeep of public spaces such as local parks, and the maintenance of public buildings like libraries and more.

Council tax is a tax on domestic property, and is paid by the occupier of the property. Council tax is usually priced depending on the value of this property – in this case, the student accommodation.

Typically, full time students are not liable to pay council tax on their accommodations.

How do I know if I'm exempt from council tax?

According to the GOV UK website, to be eligible for a council tax exemption as a student, you must be the following:

  • On a course lasting a minimum of 1 year
  • Studying for a minimum of 21 hours per week

If you meet this criteria you shouldn’t receive a council tax bill for your student accommodation, but if you do you can apply for an exemption.

How to apply or the council tax exemption

Luckily, it’s quite easy for students to apply for their council tax exemption!

First, head over to the “Apply for a Council Tax discount” page on the GOV website. Here it’ll ask you for your student accommodation’s postcode (or the property you’re wanting the discount on).

From there it’ll direct you to a more specific local council website where you’ll fill out your details and complete the application.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above, we’d recommend having a read through the various pages linked to the application page where the government goes into more detail when it comes to this process.

If I'm a student living at home, does my household still qualify for a council tax discount?

If you chose to live at home rather than moving away for uni, your household may still qualify for a discount on council tax!

The best way to check if your household qualifies would be here on the GOV UK website.

Hopefully this guide helped make the process of applying for a council tax exemption as a student more straightforward. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here or on the GOV website, we’d suggest getting in touch with your local council who should be able to help!

Split The Bills is not a financial advisor. This should not be considered as professional financial advice. Do your own research & consult a professional financial advisor before making any financial decisions!

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