Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.
Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, our operating hours remain unchanged. You are still able to access services and information from the website 24/7 and via email and phone during operating hours.
For information and advice on the Council’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19), changes to Council services, the support that is available to residents and businesses, and to volunteer to help in your community, please see our Coronavirus information page
We ask that all residents #StayHomeSaveLives – see a Message from the Leader of the Council
Discounts and Disregards
Discounts and Persons disregarded for the purpose of Council Tax
1. How do discounts and disregards work?
The full council tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home) the council tax bill is reduced by a quarter (25%). The bill is not increased if there are more than two adults in the dwelling.
Certain people are not counted when looking at the number of adults resident in a dwelling. For example, if there are two adults in a dwelling, and one of them is in one of the special groups set out in section 3 below, the bill is worked out as if only one adult lives there and is reduced by a quarter.
To find out if a discount may apply to your home, you should count the number of adults who live there as their main home, but who are not in one of the special groups. If you are left with two or more people, there will be no discount. If there is one person, your bill will be reduced by a quarter. If you are left with no-one, your bill will be reduced by a half.
If you wish to apply for a single person discount please click on the link and complete our simple on-line application form below. Please note that failure to provide correct information could result in a Penalty of £70.
From 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was replaced by Local Council Tax Support and shows on your bill as a discount.
2. Am I still liable if I am not counted for the bill?
If you are the liable person and you get a discount or are not counted, your bill may be reduced. But you will still be responsible for paying the smaller amount.
3. Who is not counted?
You will not be counted if you are an apprentice employed to learn a job and, as part of that learning, are undertaking training leading to a qualification recognised by the National Council for Vocation Qualifications. You must be paid a maximum of £160 (£195 from 1st April 2007) per week (before tax) and expect to earn substantially more when you qualify.
YOUTH TRAINING TRAINEES
You will not be counted if you are under 25 and are receiving training in line with an individual training plan under the Employment & Training Act 1973, and which is funded from the Skills Funding Agency or the Young People's Learning Agency.
You will not be counted if you are a student (or an overseas student) on a full-time or qualifying course of education.
You are a student if you are:
- undertaking a university or college course which lasts for 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.
- Student nurses studying academic courses at universities or who are on Project 2000 courses, are classed as students for council tax purposes.
- Foreign language assistants registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges are also treated as students.
- You will not be counted if you are the spouse or dependent of a student, are not a British citizen, and are prevented by the terms of your permission to be in the UK either from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
- Online application for Student Council Tax Discount
- Application Form for a Full Time Student.pdf 46KB
- 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. Correspondence courses, evening classes or courses taken in connection with a person’s job, such as on day-release, are not included.
- Online application for a School Leaver
- Application Form for a Student in Higher Education.pdf [pdf] 32KB
You will not be counted if you are a student nurse on a course leading to registration on any of Parts 1 to 6, or 8 of the nursing Register. Only student nurses studying from their first inclusion on the Register are not counted. Nurses who are already on the Register but are taking further courses are counted. Student nurses studying academic courses at universities or who are on Project 2000 courses, are excluded from this definition as they are considered as students.
RESIDENT HOSPITAL PATIENTS
You will not be counted if you are a patient in a hospital which is your only or main home. If you are in hospital for a short time and you have a home elsewhere, you will carry on paying council tax at your home.
- Online application for Council Tax Discount for Residential Hospital Patient
- Application Form for a Hospital Resident.pdf [pdf] 32KB
PEOPLE LIVING IN RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES, NURSING HOMES, MENTAL NURSING HOMES AND HOSTELS PROVIDING A HIGH LEVEL OF CARE
You will not be counted if you live, and are receiving care, in one of these places, as long as it is your only or main home.
- Online application for a discount for care home resident
- Application Form for a Patient in a Residential Care Home.pdf 48KB
PEOPLE WHO ARE SEVERELY MENTALLY IMPAIRED
People who are severely mentally impaired are not counted. For council tax purposes, a person is regarded as severely mentally impaired if he or she suffers, for whatever reason, from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent. This will usually include people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other similar illnesses.
In order not to be counted, a person will need a certificate from his or her doctor to say that he or she is severely mentally impaired. The person must also be entitled to one of a number of benefits (or would have been entitled to one of them if he/she had not reached State pension age) including certain incapacity benefits, disability allowances, unemployment allowances, attendance allowances or personal independence payment daily living component (standard or enhanced rate).
PEOPLE STAYING IN CERTAIN HOSTELS OR NIGHT SHELTERS
A person whose main or only residence is in a dwelling such as a short stay hostel or night shelter providing communal accommodation for people who have no fixed abode and no settled way of life is not counted. These may include hostels run by the Salvation Army or Church Army.
MONKS AND NUNS
You will not be counted if you are a member of a religious community, provided that you depend on the community for your material needs and have no personal income or capital. (This will still apply if you receive income from a pension or pensions from a former job.)
Only members of religious communities whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or any combination of these are not counted.
18 AND 19 YEAR OLDS
You will not be counted if you are 18 or 19 years old and are in full-time education (other than higher education). This includes people of that age who are at school or college and are on courses up to, and including, A level standard.
You will also not be counted if you are at least 18 years old and someone is entitled to child benefit in respect of you, or would be if you were not in local authority care.
- Online application for discount for 18 year old in receipt of child benefit
- Application Form Child Benefit.pdf [pdf] 33KB
If you are an 18 or 19 year old who left school after 30 April you will not be counted until 1 November of the same year. (You may continue to get a discount as a student if you go on to further or higher education.)
- Online Application for Council Tax Discount for a School Leaver under 20
- Application form for a School Leave Under 20.pdf [pdf] 32KB
You will not be counted if you live with, and care for, a person with a disability who is receiving one of certain allowances or disablement pensions. You must be providing care for at least 36 hours a week on average. But you will be counted if you are caring for your husband or wife (or partner with whom you live as husband and wife), or your child under 18 years old.
Someone who cares for an elderly person or a person with a disability in return for payment of up to £36 (£44 from 1st April 2007) per week will not be counted. Such a person will usually belong to an organisation like Community Service Volunteers, but could be employed by a public body or (in certain circumstances) by the person for whom they care.
- Online application for Council Tax Discount for Care workers
- Application Form for a Careworker.pdf 106KB
PEOPLE IN DETENTION OR IN PRISON
Prisoners who are on remand or in prison are not counted. However, people who are imprisoned for not paying a fine or the council tax are counted.
- Online application for council tax discount for persons in detention
- Application form for a person in detention.pdf [pdf] 32KB
MEMBERS OF VISITING FORCES, INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS AND DEFENCE ORGANISATIONS
You will not be counted if you are a member of a visiting force, or a member (or dependent of a member) of certain International Headquarters and Defence Organisations.
CARE LEAVER DISCOUNT
From 1 April 2020 you may be entitled to 100 percent discount on your Council Tax bill, so you pay nothing, if you:
- Are a care leaver aged between 18 and 21
- Have been in the care of Essex County Council for at least 13 weeks from the age of 14
- Were in care on your 16th birthday
- Are liable for Council Tax, or a share of Council Tax, on a dwelling in Castle Point
If this applies to you, you still need to apply for any other reduction to which you are entitled such as:
- Student discount or exemption
- Single person discount
- Council Tax Reduction
but we will top up your entitlement with a care leaver discount so you will not have to pay Council Tax until you reach your 21st birthday.
The discount only applies to Essex County Council care leavers living in the Castle Point Borough.
For full details, please read the Care Leaver Council Tax Discount Policy.docx
All these types of disregarded people have detailed rules which you can find on the back of each application form. If you require further information please contact us.
4. How will the Council know if the discount being granted is correct?
Each year the Council is required to make sure that discounts are being granted to the right households in our area. We may do this by sending out a discount review form asking for information. If you get a form asking about discounts, please return it as soon as possible.
When it sends out its bills, the Council will have decided whether it thinks a discount applies to your home. If there is no discount and you think you should get one, you should contact the Council explaining why. The Council will tell you what evidence you will need to provide in support of your claim. The Council has two months to make a decision. If you still disagree with the Council, or if it has not acted within the two month period, you will be able to appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. See section on 'How to appeal against the Council Tax'. You should continue to pay your original bill whilst your appeal is outstanding.
If the Council has given you a discount but you are not entitled to one, or are no longer entitled to one, you must write to say so or you may face a penalty.
5. Discretionary Discounts for Council Tax
Under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, Castle Point Borough Council has the power to reduce liability for Council Tax in relation to individual cases or classes of cases that it may determine and where statutory exemptions or discounts cannot be applied.
The costs of discretionary reductions have to be met by the Council’s own funds or through an increase in the general level of Council Tax for other payers. The Council’s general approach will be to consider using this discretionary power for exceptional circumstances only.
Full details of the Council’s policy and circumstances in which this reduction can be claimed are here: S13A Policy v2 .docx 51KB