Council Tax Discounts & Exemptions

A full council tax charge assumes there are two or more adults, aged 18 or over, living in a property as their main home.

But, for council tax purposes, students and carers usually aren’t counted in your household numbers. Discounts can also apply for apprentices, school leavers, care leavers and hospitalised, disabled or severely mentally impaired people.

Find out more below.

Single Person discount

If you are the only adult living in a property and it's your sole or main home, a reduction of 25% may apply.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Student discount

  • If you live in the parental home, your parents should be liable for council tax and you need do nothing.
  • If you live with only one parent, and no other adults live in the house. Your parent, carer or guardian should let us know as your household will be eligible for a 25% reduction in council tax.
  • If you live with a student and you are the only two adults in the property you may be eligible for a reduction of 25%.
  • If you live with more than one adult non-student we will not reduce the liability.

Remember: responsibility for council tax lies with the person liable for the property. If you are the named tenant on the lease, then you are the liable person. This includes joint tenancies.

How to apply

If you study at one of the colleges/universities below and have given them permission to provide the Council with your details, then you can apply for your discount fully online.

  • Dundee University
  • Fife College
  • St Andrews University
  • Stirling University

If you are studying out with one the above colleges/universities, you will be asked to print the form once complete and send to your college or university to authorise. The completed form should then be sent to the Benefits and Council Tax Team, PO Box 18015, Glenrothes, KY7 5YJ.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Apprentice, Youth Trainee or Skillseeker discount

If a member of your household is undergoing a training course as an Apprentice, Youth Trainee or Skillseeker, we may be able to give you a discount on your council tax bill.

To qualify, the trainee must be:

  • Aged under 25
  • Undergoing a recognised course of training
  • Paid no more than £195 per week gross

To qualify, the apprentice must be:

  • Paid no more than £195 per week gross
  • and the training must lead to a qualification recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulation or the Scottish Vocational Education Council


How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Care Leavers discount

A ‘care leaver’ means a person who:

  • is at least 18 years of age but not yet 26 years of age;
  • was looked after by a local authority on ther sixteenth birthday or at any subsequent time; and
  • is no longer looked after by a local authority.

Legislation introduced in April 2018 means dwellings occupied solely by one or more care leavers are exempt from council tax.

If you live with a care leaver, but you are the only two adults in the property, you are still entitled to the single person’s 25% council tax discount.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Severe mental impairment discount / exemption

If someone has been diagnosed as having a severe impairment of social functioning which appears to be permanent, including conditions like dementia or Alzheimers, they may be entitled to a council tax discount.

The condition must be certified by a doctor and the applicant must also receive a qualifying benefit (see full list of these on the application form)

  • If the person lives by themselves they will get a full exemption from council tax
  • If they live with one other person they will get a 25% discount
  • If they live with two or more other people they won’t get a discount unless the other residents are also disregarded for council tax purposes

Please complete the online application form, print it off and have it signed by a doctor. This then needs to be sent to us with evidence of the qualifying benefit.

The council tax discount/exemption will be awarded either from the date the doctor certified the severe mental impairment or the date the applicant started to receive the qualifying benefit, whichever is later.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Carers discount

As a carer, you may be eligible for a discount if you’re living with the person you care for and they are not your partner or a child under 18. You must be providing care for at least 35 hours per week and the person being cared for must be in receipt of the highest rate of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (Care) or enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment (Daily Living Component).

  • If the only people resident over 18 are you and the person you care for, you will receive a 25% discount.
  • If the person you care for is severely mentally impaired, you will receive a 50% discount (see criteria for severe mental impairment discount).
  • If there are three people resident over 18, one is severely mentally impaired and one is the carer they will receive a 25 % discount.
  • If there are four people resident over 18, one is severely mentally impaired, one is carer but the other two are not disregarded from council tax, there is no entitlement to a discount.

More than one person in the household can be the carer as long as they are each caring for the person at least 35 hours per week.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Patient in Hospital or Residential Home

You may qualify for a council tax discount / exemption on your council tax bill because you or a member of your household is resident in a residential home or has been hospitalised on a permanent basis.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Person in detention

You may qualify for a discount on your council tax bill if a member of your household is currently in detention.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Sole or Main Residence discount

If you own a furnished property but live in another, we need to establish your main residence. We call this 'Sole or Main Residence'. 

There is no discount on the water and sewerage charges. You may get a discount of 50% depending on the circumstances and the time the property has been empty.

Service personnel who own or rent a property are liable to pay Council Tax on their homes. If their main residence is determined to be the dwelling closer to their job, a 50% job related dwelling discount may be awarded.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

School Leavers discount

You may qualify for a council tax discount on your council tax bill if someone in your household is a person under the age of 20 who has left school or college on or after 01 May in any year after undertaking a qualifying course of education (i.e. one no higher than Scottish Higher National Certificate or equivalent). The person would be disregarded for discount purposes between 1 May and 31 October in the same year. School and college leavers continue to be disregarded if they go on to some other form of further or higher education.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Disablement Relief

If there is someone (an adult or child) living in your home who is substantially and permanently disabled you could be entitled to a reduction. The reduction is made by charging council tax at the valuation band below the one the property is in. For example if your property is in band D, the council tax bill will be worked out as if it were in band C. This reduction also applies if your home is in band A.

The property must have one of the features shown below and this must be essential or of major importance to the disabled person's wellbeing..

  • An extra kitchen or bathroom for the particular needs of the disabled person
  • Any other room which is not a bathroom, kitchen or toilet and is mainly used by the disabled person
  • Enough indoor space for the diabled person to use their wheelchair (the wheelchair must be needed by the disabled person for day to day living.)


How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here

Child Benefit Over 18 discount

You may qualify for a council tax discount if you are in receipt of Child Benefit for a member of your household who is over 18 years of age.

How to apply

Apply for discounts or exemptions by using an online council tax account.  If you already manage your council tax account online, login to FifeDirect to fill in your forms so you can keep a record of what you submit to us.

If you're not already registered, you'll need details from your latest council tax bill to sign up.  If you've lost your bill, complete the online bill request form and we'll send you the details you need to register.

If you do not manage your account online, you can apply by Clicking Here
 

Long Term Empty Properties

The Government made changes in April 2013 to the rules around council tax discounts for empty properties. The change allowed the council to vary the council tax charge after a property has been empty for 12 months. These rules have been set to help tackle property shortages across the country.

Fife Council implemented these changes from 1st April 2014. This means if you are an owner of a property which has been empty for 12 months or more. The council tax charge for the empty property will increase by 100%.

An exemption will still apply to an empty and unfurnished property. The period will be for up to 6 months from the date it was last occupied. The discount awarded after this period will be 50% for a further 6 months. After 12 months the discount will end and the charge will increase to 200%.

You can apply by clicking on this link: Empty Property

If the circumstances of your property change please tell us online using the contact at the bottom of this page.

If you give false information or fail to report a discount that has been awarded in error then you may have to pay a fine of £500.

There are various options for you to consider with an empty property such as:

  • letting it out;
  • living in it yourself; or
  • selling the property.


If you would like more information then please email the Empty Homes officer at emptyhomes@fife.gov.uk


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