You may be entitled to discounts on your council tax bill, or may not have to pay council tax, depending on your circumstances.
Discount, exemption and changes forms
Single person discount
You’re entitled to a discount of 25% if only one adult lives in your property.
A 25% discount may also apply even if more than one adult is resident. Certain people can be disregarded for council tax purposes. These are:
- Full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth-training trainees
- Patients living in hospital
- People looked after in care homes
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 and 19 year olds who are at, or have just left, school
- Care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
- People caring for someone with a disability who is not a husband or wife, partner or child under 18
- Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
- Foreign diplomats and certain members of international organisations
- Members of religious communities (for example, monks and nuns)
- People in prison (except those in prison for not paying their council tax or a fine)
From 1 April 2014 a 50% reduction is available in the amount of council tax payable for people living in annexes (which are separately assessed and appear in the valuation list for council tax separately from the main dwelling) provided they are related to the person liable to pay the council tax of the main dwelling (or the person who would be so liable were it not for an exemption or 100% discount or reduction) and for people living in dwellings with annexes which are unoccupied provided they are using those annexes as part of their main residence.
Empty properties and second homes
Council tax is charged at the full rate if your property is empty or is your second home.
If a property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, a discount of 100% can be awarded for up to one month. The discount will start on the first day a property becomes empty. It will not be affected by any subsequent change in the person liable to pay Council Tax provided that the property remains empty. This is because the 100% discount is calculated from the day the property first becomes unoccupied and unfurnished. Properties that require major repairs are not eligible for this discount.
Properties that are left vacant for more than two years are subject to an additional 50% charge.
Certain second homes are eligible for a 50% reduction on their council tax bill:
- The council tax payer lives elsewhere in job-related accommodation specified by the terms and conditions of their contract, for example: caretakers, ministers of religion or members of the armed forces. This does not apply to second homes that are rented because they are convenient for work.
- Homes that are pitches or moorings occupied by caravans or boats
- A planning restriction means you’re unable to occupy the property for at least 28 continuous days a year.
Living with people with disabilities
You may be entitled to pay less council tax if someone who lives in your home is disabled and and the property has certain facilities to specifically meet their needs. These are:
- a room other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory which is predominantly required for meeting the needs of the disabled person, or
- an additional kitchen or bathroom which is required for meeting the needs of the disabled person, or
- sufficient floor to use a wheelchair indoors, and the disabled person needs the use of a wheelchair within the dwelling.
If eligible, you will be charged at one band lower than the official banding for your property. Call us on 0151 443 4476 for more guidance on council tax reduction for people living with a disabled person.
Properties exempt from paying council tax
You may be exempt from paying council tax if your property is:
- Class B Owned by a charity, vacant and was last occupied by a charity (exempt for up to six months).
- Class D Vacant because the liable person is in prison
- Class E Vacant because the liable person is a permanent patient in a hospital or a care home
- Class F Vacant because the liable person has died and probate or letters of administration have not yet been granted. Exempt for up to six months after probate or letters of administration granted.
- Class G Vacant because nobody is allowed to live there by law
- Class H Held vacant for occupation by a minister of religion
- Class I Vacant because the liable person is receiving care elsewhere (but not in a residential care home which would come under class E)
- Class J Vacant because the liable person is caring for someone elsewhere
- Class K Vacant because the liable person is a student living elsewhere to study
- Class L Vacant because it has been repossessed
- Class M A hall of residence for students
- Class N Lived in only by students
- Class O Owned by the Ministry of Defence and lived in only by members of the armed services
- Class P Lived in only by visiting service personnel
- Class Q Left vacant by a bankruptcy trustee
- Class R An empty caravan pitch or a boat mooring
- Class S Lived in only by people who are under 18
- Class T A vacant part of another property and may not be let separately due to planning restrictions
- Class U Lived in only by people who are severely mentally impaired.
- Class V Lived in by at least one foreign diplomat or specified member of an international organisation.
- Class W Part of a property is lived in separately (as a self-contained flat or house) by a dependent elderly or disabled relative of the family.
Council Tax - discretionary relief
Under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as inserted by Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2003), the Council has the power to reduce liability for council tax in relation to individual cases or class(es) of cases that it may determine and where national discounts and exemptions cannot be applied.
Discount and exemption forms
Change of address and further information
How to apply for discounts and exemptions or advise of a change of address
To apply for a discount or exemption or advise us of a change of address or other changes please print, complete and return the appropriate form and return it to the Council Tax Section.
For all other enquiries, please telephone 0151 443 4476.
Appealing against reductions decisions
You can appeal if you don’t agree with a decision about your entitlement to a council tax discount or exemption or the amount your bill has been reduced by. In the first instance this appeal should be made in writing to the council tax office at:
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Should the matter not be resolved to your satisfaction there is a further right of appeal to the valuation tribunal service.