Those who wish to be disregarded as students, for the purposes of Council Tax, have to be undertaking their study at a prescribed educational establishment in Great Britain, or an educational establishment in a Member State of the European Union.
The requirement to be physically attending such an establishment has been removed. This allows people who are studying full time by correspondence course or online to qualify for a student status.
We have a duty to ensure student status is only granted to those people that meet the qualifying criteria.
If you are a student who is attending an educational establishment in Great Britain you will still be able to obtain a ‘Student Certificate’ from your place of education. This will enable us to grant a student status.
If, however, you are attending a place of study elsewhere in the European Union, or you are studying by mail or online, we will require you to provide some or all of the following information:
- Confirmation of acceptance on course.
- Enrolment details.
- Key details of course (duration, hours, syllabus etc.).
- Confirmation of payment for course - this may be an invoice, copy of a credit card statement etc.
- Contact name and details of the establishment course administrator.
If you believe you will now meet the qualifying criteria for student status - see below, or you need more information, please contact a member of the Local Taxation Team.
A person is regarded as a student for Council Tax purposes if he/she is either:-
(a) UNDERTAKING A FULL-TIME COURSE OF EDUCATION
This applies to those attending a university or college course which lasts at least an academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time. Please note that the hours of study must be more than the time taken by work experience, except for Initial Teacher Training courses,
(b) UNDERTAKING A QUALIFYING COURSE OF EDUCATION
This applies to those people under the age of 20 and studying for more than three months and at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard.
It does not apply to correspondence courses, day release or evening classes taken in connection with a persons job.
(c) A STUDENT NURSE
This applies to student nurses who are not on a full-time course at college or university but are following a course leading to an appropriate registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979,
(d) A FOREIGN LANGUAGE ASSISTANT
This applies to those people registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges,
(e) A NON-BRITISH PARTNER OF A STUDENT
This applies to a student's spouse or dependent being in either case a person who is not a British Citizen and who is prevented, by the terms of his/her leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefit.
In addition to the above, students under the age of 20 will be classed as students for Council Tax between the end of their course and the following 1st November providing that they did not leave their course until after the previous 30th April.
If you are a full time student resident in a property, along with another adult, who is not a student and who holds an identical interest in the property to you i.e. joint owner, joint tenant or joint resident, you will no longer be liable for the Council Tax. If, however, you hold a greater interest in the property and the other resident is not a student, then you will still be the person liable for the charge.
For more information on Council Tax liability please click here.
Reductions for occupied properties
There are three possible types of reduction available, all of which depend on the total number of adults occupying the property.
1) EXEMPTION - A full exemption is awarded when a property is occupied wholly by one or more students. A separate application form should be completed for each student resident in the property.
2) 50% DISCOUNT - If your property does not qualify for an exemption, a 50% discount would be applicable instead, if all the adults resident in the property fell within one of the special categories for Council Tax discount disregards. These adults are not counted when looking at the total number resident in a property. A separate disregard form should be completed for each adult resident in the property.
3) 25% DISCOUNT - A 25% discount is applicable where all the adults of a property, except one, are students or fall into any other of the special categories mentioned above.
Reductions for unoccupied properties
Exemptions are available to unoccupied properties, which
(a) were last occupied by the owner (or tenant) as his/her sole or main residence
(b) the owner (or tenant) has remained a student for the whole of the period since leaving the dwelling (or has become a student within 6 weeks of leaving).
For more information on Council Tax exemptions, please click here.
If you would like an application form please contact a member of the Local Taxation Team and they will be happy to assist you with its completion.
It is essential that a student certificate be sent with each completed student form (excluding those attending educational establishments outside of Great Britain but within a Member State of the European Union). Student certificates provide details of your course and they can be obtained free of charge from your college or other educational establishment that you attend.
Please note: You are legally obliged to inform the Council within 21 days of any change of circumstances, which may affect your exemption/discount entitlement. For example, you should notify the Council if you leave your course early or another adult moves into your property. Failure to do so may result in the issue of a £70.00 civil penalty.