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Reducing your Bill - Discounts & Exemptions

Discounts and Exemptions

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home.  Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

You'll get 25% off your bill if you count as an adult for Council Tax and either:

You will not have to pay any Council Tax if everyone in your home, including you, is a full time student

Who does not count as an adult?

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

Severely Mentally Impaired

To show that you do not qualify as an adult for Council Tax, you'll need a declaration from your doctor 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 show that you do not qualify as an adult for Council Tax, 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

Reductions for disabilities

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

Reductions for empty properties

From April 2016 the level of discount which applies to empty properties and second homes within the Maldon District has been set at 0%.

Any property which have been empty and substantially unfurnished for two years or more will have an additional premium applied. 

From April 2019 this premium is 200% of council tax payable in relation to that property, increasing to a maximum of 300% .

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.


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 whether to use powers on a case by case basis ie: 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.


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.