Council tax discounts

Sometimes, discounts can be applied to your council tax bill, reducing the amount you need to pay.

Want to apply for a discount?

You can apply for a discount by completing the appropriate form and returning it to us.

Alternatively where there is no form you should contact us with your reason(s) for claiming discount. You should ensure that full details relating to your circumstances, the reason(s) for claiming discount and supporting evidence are provided in your letter.

Qualifying discounts and disregards

The full council tax bill assumes that there are two adults (aged 18 years or over) living in a dwelling as their main home. The bill will not increase where more than two adults live there.

If only one person lives in a dwelling a single person discount will normally apply which will reduce the council tax bill by 25%.

When counting the number of adults living in a property, certain groups of people can be disregarded, leaving just one person eligible to pay.  This can reduce the council tax bill by 25%.

A disregard can also apply to a person living alone who may also be disregarded for the purposes of discount reducing the council tax bill by 50%.

People disregarded for council tax discount purposes (with application forms available) include:

  • Patients resident long term in hospital
  • Apprentices and youth training trainees
  • Full time students, student nurses, foreign language assistants (Further details below)
  • Care workers working for low pay, including Community Service Volunteers
  • Occupants who are severely mentally impaired
  • People who are normally resident at a property but who are detained in prison (except those in prison for non payment of council tax or a fine) or hospital or other place under an order of any UK court
  • Occupants under the age of 20 who are at or have just left school or college (after 30 April and not counted until 1 November of that year)
  • People caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18

The following disregards require you to make an application by letter:

  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters who are of no fixed abode.
  • People being looked after in care homes including residential care homes, nursing homes and hostels providing a high level of care.
  • Occupants aged 18 and over for whom child benefit is payable.
  • Members and dependants of visiting forces and certain international institutions.
  • A student's spouse or dependant who is not a British citizen and who by law may not take paid employment or claim benefits.
  • Members of religious communities who have no income or capital of their own and are dependant on the religious community to provide for their material needs.

These groups are stated in broad terms and within each certain conditions may need to be met before a disregard can apply. Some discounts could also attract a property exemption in certain circumstances.

If a property is in need of, or has undergone structural alteration or major repair, you may receive a 25% discount for up to 12 months.

An unoccupied and unfurnished property may receive a 100% discount for up to one month from the date it becomes empty. A discount can only be awarded if the property has been occupied for six months prior to becoming empty.

An occupier of an annexe or self-contained flat (which forms part of a main property) will receive a 50% discount if they are the relative of the person who lives in the main dwelling.

Discount for students and student nurses

Any person who is a student or student nurse will not be counted in the total number of adult residents for council tax purposes.

If a member of your household is a student or student nurse, aged 18 or over, then you may qualify for a council tax discount.

A qualifying student is a person who complies with the conditions shown below:

  • An 18 or 19 year old undertaking a course of non-advanced further education (i.e. a course up to 'A' level or BTEC National Diploma standard) of at least 12 hours per week.
  • A person of any age undertaking a full time course of further or higher education at a University or College of at least 21 hours per week.
  • A Nurse studying under Project 2000 arrangements.
  • A foreign language assistant registered at the central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchange and appointed at a school or other educational establishment.

A student nurse is a person who complies with the following conditions:

  • Undertaking a course which would (if successfully completed) lead to registration on any of Parts 1 - 6 or 8 of the register maintained under section 10 of the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979 as a first inclusion on that register.

If you consider that you may qualify for a discount please complete, sign and return the students application form, together with a student certificate confirming the course. A certificate must be obtained from the educational establishment and presented with your application. This is available only on request by the student. 

Discount for the 65s and over

On 1 April 2009 we introduced a local discount for council tax payers aged 65 and over, in order to restrict the annual council tax increase for 2009/2010 and so help relieve financial hardship.

The scheme will continue in 2014/15 however it is being phased out over the next five years.

Anyone who previously didn't meet the qualifying conditions during the first five years of the scheme but does so on 1 April 2014 will qualify for the discount.

A claim for Council Tax '65 & over' discount can be made if all the following conditions are met:

  • The applicant is liable to pay Council Tax, either jointly or in your own right, on a property in Barnsley on 1 April 2014.
  • A single occupier aged 65 or over, or joint occupiers both aged 65 or over on 1 April 2014.
  • Not in receipt of any Council Tax Support on the property on 1 April 2014. Only one reduction can apply per household and this applies to the main home. It cannot be applied to second homes or empty properties.

The discount will only offset the councils own Barnsley element of the 2014/15 Council Tax bill. It does not affect the annual charges raised in respect of the precepts raised by local parishes, South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Increased charges collected on behalf of those bodies will continue to be payable.

This discount is being phased out over the next five years, from April 2014. However, residents aged 65 and over can still make a claim.

The following discounts apply for 2014/15:

Council Tax Banding         Discount for 2014/15 (£)   
A 31
B 35
C 41
D 45
E 56
F 66
G 76
H 93
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