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Council Tax discounts and exemptions

We are able to reduce your Council Tax bill in some circumstances. For empty properties, please view Property reductions. If you are on a low income, please view Council Tax Support

Single Occupancy Discount 

A full Council Tax bill assumes that there are at least two adults using the property as their sole or main residence. If only one adult lives in the property we reduce your bill by 25%, known as a Single Occupancy Discount.

Apply for or Cancel a Single Person Discount

When calculating your bill we don't count certain people. These include:

  • full time students
  • student nurses
  • school or college leavers under 20 but over 18 still receiving child benefit
  • people who care for an elderly or disabled person who lives with them
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • members of religious communities

Second Homes Discount

Second homes are classed as properties which are furnished but not occupied as anyone's main home. No discount is awarded.

Council Tax reductions in special circumstances (Section 13A)

We can sometimes give a short-term Council Tax reduction to people who find themselves unexpectedly in difficult circumstances. This type of reduction can apply to both occupied and unoccupied properties. It is called a Section 13A reduction because it comes under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act.

We can only give Section 13A reductions in exceptional situations. The money to cover the reductions comes out of the council’s own funds, so the decision to grant a reduction and how much is at our discretion.

Exceptional situations might include where the Council Tax payer faces sudden financial problems they could not have expected.

The full policy, including the eligibility criteria, is available to download on this webpage.

If you wish to apply for this reduction, please complete the application form and submit it to the council.

Council Tax reductions for disabled people

You may be eligible for a reduction in the Council Tax banding of your property if you live in a larger property than you would otherwise need because you or another occupant are disabled. To be eligible, you need to show you have either:

  • an extra bathroom, kitchen or other room that you need for the disabled person
  • extra space inside the property for using a wheelchair

The property must be the main home of at least one disabled person. This can be an adult or a child - it doesn’t have to be the person responsible for paying Council Tax.

If you apply for the reduction and these criteria are met, then your Council Tax bill is reduced to the amount payable for a home in the valuation band below yours. If you are in the lowest band already (Band A) you get a reduction of one sixth of the bill.

To apply please complete and return this form:

A discount is also available for people who are seriously mentally impaired.

Exemption for people now living in hospital or a care home

If a person's home is left empty as a result of them permanently living in a hospital or care home, and they remain the liable person for Council Tax purposes, they may be entitled to an exemption from Council Tax. If they return home between treatments it does not qualify as permanent.

Student discount

A student aged 18 years or over who is resident in the household may entitle you to a discount. If the property is wholly occupied by students the property will be exempt from Council Tax.

Council Tax Relief for Service personnel on eligible operations overseas

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) administers a Council Tax Relief scheme for all Regular and Reserve Service personnel serving on eligible operations overseas, who either pay or are counted for Council Tax or Rates for:

  • either a property in the UK or
  • the equivalent Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax if they are in Service Families Accommodation

From 1 July 2011 the daily rate of Council Tax Relief is 50% of the average Council Tax for a dwelling in England, which is about £296 for an average six-month tour for Service personnel on eligible operations overseas.

Council Tax Relief is paid as a tax-free lump sum on completion of duty, based on the number of days in the qualifying operational location. The process of applying for Council Tax Relief for those eligible has not changed.

This scheme is administered by the MOD not West Oxfordshire District Council. Full details of eligibility and how to claim, which is done on your return from deployment, are published in Joint Service Publication 754, Chapter 9, Section 11 which is available for internal users on the Defence Intranet.

Report a change in circumstances

If you are claiming a discount and your circumstances change you must inform us of the changes immediately. If you don't let us know it may mean that your charge will be backdated to the date of the change and an instalment facility not given.