Citizens Advice: Paying Your Council Tax

The new council tax bills are out in March, and we know that times are incredibly tough. Council tax is a priority bill so it’s important to keep in contact with your council if you can’t keep up payments.


If you’re the only adult in your home, you’ll get a 25% discount on your council tax bill. When working out how many people live in a property, some people aren’t counted – they’re called ‘disregarded people’ and include under 18s, a student nurse or someone on an apprenticeship scheme and many more.

If everyone who lives in the property is disregarded, you will still receive a council tax bill, but it will have a 50% discount. However, if everyone in your home is a student or severely mentally impaired, you won’t pay any council tax. Additionally, if someone has moved out, tell the council. If you are entitled to a discount as a result, it will be valid from the date when the person moved out, even if you told the council after the event, and the reduction may be backdated.

If you are on a low income, you might be able to get your council tax reduced. If you get benefits or have other people living with you, this might affect how much your council tax is reduced by. Your local council will ask you details about your income and your circumstances, so they can work out if you’re entitled to a council tax reduction. They will then calculate your new bill and tell you how much council tax you need to pay. If you have other people living with you who are aged 18 or over, you might all be responsible for paying council tax. Only one of you needs to apply for a council tax reduction. The council will make a decision and reduce the amount of council tax you have to pay accordingly.

You may also be eligible for additional support if you’ve reached State Pension age. The working age rules still apply if you’ve reached State Pension age and you or your partner are on certain allowances, or if you’ve reached State Pension age and don’t get any of these benefits, the ‘pension age rules’ apply.

Councils can sometimes offer ‘discretionary reduction’. They’ll normally only do this if you can show that you’re suffering severe hardship and can’t afford to pay council tax.

For more help, contact Citizens Advice North Herts via