Am I eligible for Council Tax Redemption?

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Council tax is applied to properties, not people, but exemptions from paying the tax are based on the sort of people who live in the property. A property is exempt from council tax if everyone who lives there falls into at least one of several categories, including:

  • full-time college or university students
  • 18 or 19-year olds in full-time education

  • children under 18 years old

  • anyone aged over 18 for whom child benefit is payable

  • people on some apprenticeships and trainee schemes

  • a student’s overseas partner (if they entered the UK on a visa that denies the right to work or claim benefits, or if they have the right to work but not to claim benefits).

  • live-in carers who look after someone who isn’t their partner, spouse or child

If you believe that you may be eligible for discount then you should see the Government’s full list of council tax exemptions. The Government website and your specific Local Council Website will be able to provide more details regarding eligibility guidelines. 


There’s a specific definition of 'full-time student' for council tax purposes. To count as a full-time student, your course must:

  • last at least one calendar or academic year, where you’re required to undertake the course for at least 24 weeks out of the year

  • involve at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week during term time.

If you’re under 20 years old and you’re studying for a qualification up to A-level, NVQ/SVQ level 3 or equivalent, your course must:

  • last at least three months

  • involve at least 12 hours of study per week.

You’re counted as a full-time student during the whole period of your course, from the first day until the last, including any vacation periods.

Even if the College describes your course as full-time, you cannot be granted a student discount or exemption if your course doesn't match the definition of full-time in Council Tax law. So, if you are studying for over 21 hours per week but your course is not for a full academic or calendar year, you will not qualify for a student discount or exemption. National Union of Students provides some further information.

See also...

How do I request a Council Tax Redemption Certificate?