Last edited 11 Jan 2021

Council tax

The council tax is a form of local property tax (LPT) collected by local councils. It was introduced in 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992, when it replaced the unpopular Community Charge (Poll Tax).

Very broadly, domestic properties pay the council tax, whereas business properties pay business rates (sometimes referred to as non-domestic rates).

People generally have to pay the council tax if they are 18 years old or over and own or rent a home.

The amount charged is based on:

A dscount or exemption may be available if:

  • The occupant is on a low income or benefits.
  • They live on their own.
  • No-one else in the home counts as an adult
  • No-one living in the home counts as an adult.
  • Everyone in the home is a full-time student.
  • The home is condemned or unoccupied.
  • It is a second home.

Appeals about valuations or other matters can be made to the Valuation Tribunal.

NB: Where properties are partly for business use and partly for domestic use, such as a pub or shop, where the owner lives on the premises or in a flat above the business, it may be necessary to pay both the council tax and business rates.

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