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Reducing your bill - discounts and exemptions

Council Tax discounts

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. 

You can get a reduction if:

  • you live on your own or
  • all of the other people living in your home are eligible for a discount (disregarded persons) (25% REDUCTION) or
  • all the people living in your home are eligible for a discount  (disregarded persons) 

Find out more about:


Single person discount

Apply for single person discount

Severely Mentally Impaired

To qualify for a discount, you'll need a form signed by your doctor confirming that:

  • you have a severe impairment of social functioning and
  • you have a severe impairment of intelligence and
  • both the above appear to be permanent

Download the Doctors certificate

You will also need evidence of entitlement to one of the following benefits

  • Incapacity Benefit (short-term or long-term)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component (standard or enhanced rate)
  • The highest or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • An increase in Disablement Pension for constant attendance
  • The disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Un-employability Supplement
  • Constant Attendance Allowance payable under the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Un-employability Allowance payable under the Industrial Injuries or War Pension schemes
  • Income Support which includes a disability premium because of incapacity for work

Complete the online application

People on apprentice schemes

To qualify for a discount, you'll need a declaration from your employer stating that:

  • you will not be paid more than £195 a week
  • the training leads to a qualification accredited by a body recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) or the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SVEC)

Contact us to apply


To qualify for a discount, you'll need a student certificate from your place of education stating that:

You are enrolled on a full-time course of education

Contact us to apply

Reductions for disabilities

If someone with a disability lives at the property a discount may apply.

Reductions for empty properties

Some unoccupied properties qualify for an exemption

For the time the property is exempt, no Council Tax is charged.  Exemptions can be for a set time or stay exempt until circumstances change

An unoccupied property may be exempt where the former occupant:

  • has passed away
  • has been detained elsewhere
  • is living in a care home or hospital
  • is living elsewhere to receive or provide care
  • is living and is a full-time student elsewhere or
  • where the property is an unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring

Contact us for further information or to apply

Where an exemption does not apply, the level of discount for empty properties and second homes within the Maldon District has been set at 0%.

Any property which has been empty and substantially unfurnished for two years or more will have an additional premium applied of 100% of Council Tax payable in relation to that property, increasing to 200% after 5 years and to a maximum of 300% when the property remains empty for ten years or  more.

This means that after 2 years you will pay double the 'regular' amount of council tax due if the property remains empty, rising to 4 times the regular amount after 10 years.


Both decisions were taken under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 which inserted a new section (11B) which allowed local authorities to review and reduce the level of discounts. A public consultation which was undertaken in 2015 also supported the removal of discounts for second homes and empty properties.

Copies of the relevant legislation and Council reports can be found online.


You can get a 50% Council Tax discount on an annexe which is lived in by a family member. The discount is not based on occupation or furniture but on use of the annexe by the resident of the main building or occupation by a family member.

The discount doesn’t apply if a non-family member occupies an annexe.

You can get an exemption from Council Tax if the annexe is unoccupied and cannot be let separately

Contact us to apply

Discretionary Reductions

Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 enables local authorities to reduce the amount of Council Tax payable where national discounts and exemptions cannot be applied.

The local authority has the right to choose how to use this discretion e.g. on the grounds of exceptional financial hardship or to specify certain classes of use where several taxpayers may fit into a group due to similar circumstances.

Details of the current S13 scheme can be found here.

Contact us to apply

Full list of disregarded persons

These people are not counted as adults for Council Tax:

  • children under 18
  • people on some apprentice schemes
  • 18 and 19-year-olds in full-time education
  • full-time college and university students
  • young people under 25 who get funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People's Learning Agency
  • student nurses
  • foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • people with a severe mental impairment
  • live-in carers who look after someone who is not their partner, spouse, or child under 18
  • diplomats

You can find more information about discounts or exemptions and who is and isn't counted for Council Tax purposes by visiting the GOV.UK website.