Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 27 May means all rubbish and recycling collections will be one day later that week, including Friday collections taking place on Saturday 1 June.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

We can reduce your Council Tax bill by awarding:

  • a discount – your bill assumes there are at least two adults living in your home. If only one adult lives there, we can lower the council tax by 25%. Some people are not counted as living in a property for council tax purposes. This means if there is more than one adult living in your home, you could still get a discount
  • an exemption – some properties are free from Council Tax
  • Council Tax Reduction for people on low incomes
  • a disabled person’s band reduction because an adult or child living in the home needs to use a wheelchair indoors. They may also need a special room within the house because of their disability

One or more of these reductions may apply to your home.

You can visit our page to claim a Council Tax discount or exemption

Discounts for occupied properties

Check by counting how many people live in your property, leaving out:

  • apprentices and youth trainees
  • students, student nurses and foreign language assistants
  • hospital patients or care home patients
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people for whom child benefit is payable
  • people aged under 20 years who have recently left school or college
  • carers and care workers
  • people in prison or on remand
  • members of religious communities, such as monks and nuns
  • residents of hostels or night shelters
  • spouses of students where they are prevented (by immigration rules) from paid work or claiming benefit
  • people who are diplomats, members of international headquarters, defence organisations and visiting forces

The amount of discount you can get will be:

  • 25% if only one person is counted as resident
  • 50% if no one is counted as resident
  • 50% annexe discount if it’s unoccupied or lived in by a relative of the main householder
  • 100% annexe discount if the person living there is a dependant relative

If no one counts as resident because all the residents are severely mentally impaired or students, the property will be exempt from Council Tax.

Care leavers can get a 100% discount where they are:

  • liable for Council Tax as an occupier in the property for which they are claiming the discount whether or not they live alone
  • below the age of 25, and
  • a registered care leaver with Somerset Council or any other relevant local authority within the United Kingdom (and subject to the provision of proof of registration, where required).

Foster carers and qualifying special guardians can get a 50% discount where they:

  • are fully approved as a foster carer by the new council and meet the care skills standard
  • have provided foster care to a child for a total of 26 weeks (182 days) in the previous 12 months from 1 February to 1 January
  • maintain their approval as a foster carer with the council
  • maintain their availability to foster
  • live within the Somerset area
  • claim all relevant benefits and discounts to which they would usually be entitled
  • claim this discount only on the one dwelling which is their main residence and
  • agree to receiving this Council Tax discount.

British Armed Forces

Armed forces accommodation, barracks, messes and married quarters which are owned by the Secretary of State for Defence are exempt from Council Tax.

If you live in a privately owned or rented home

We can’t give you a Council Tax discount if you live in a privately owned or rented home and one of the occupiers is away in the armed forces.  This is because the house would still be classed as their main residence for taxation purposes.  This applies to all those in the armed forces throughout the country and is in accordance with government guidelines.

However, all armed forces personnel deployed on operations overseas, who normally pay Council Tax, can benefit from a tax-free payment on the cost of Council Tax, which is paid directly by the Ministry of Defence. This is called Council Tax Relief.

Council Tax Relief for service personnel on specified operations

Council Tax Relief is paid to service personnel who pay Council Tax while they are in the UK – it is not paid to those living in Service Family Accommodation who pay Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax as this is dealt with separately (unless you can prove that you have paid council tax on a private property in the UK during the tour period).

Council Tax Relief is paid for each day that the eligible service personnel is in the location where the relief has been declared as payable, and includes days out of theatre on Rest and Recuperation. It stops being paid the day after they leave the area.

This scheme is funded and administered by the Ministry of Defence, not the council.

Exemptions

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. This means the owner does not have to pay the charge.

You may not have to pay if your property is not lived in and:

  • it is owned by a charity
  • it was left unoccupied by a student
  • it has been repossessed
  • it is being held by a bankrupt’s trustee
  • it is a caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • living there is reserved for a minister of religion
  • the occupant is now in prison
  • the occupant is now in a care home or hostel
  • the occupant has left to receive or provide care elsewhere
  • the former occupant has died and probate hasn’t yet been granted
  • living there is forbidden by law
  • planning law stops an annexe being let

You may not have to pay if your property is only lived in by:

  • students or is a student hall of residence
  • people aged under 18 years
  • people with severe mental impairment
  • a diplomat and their dependants
  • a dependant relative in an annexe
  • visiting Armed Forces personnel or is used for Armed Forces accommodation

Some exemptions are time-limited and exceptions may apply.

From 1 April 2023, no discount will apply to the following properties:

  • empty properties (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished)
  • properties under structural repair or in need of major repair

Disabled person band reduction

If you are disabled and your home is specially adapted you can get a disabled persons’ band reduction.

This means we work out how much council tax you have to pay as if your home is one band lower than it normally would be. If you’re already in a band A home, we can’t apply a lower band but we can give a reduction that’s the same in cash terms as reductions for homes in bands B to H.

To get a reduction:

  • your 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 the council tax
  • you, or the person living there, must be substantially or permanently disabled

The property must have:

  • a room (not a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) which is mostly used by the disabled person and meets their needs
  • a second bathroom or kitchen for their use
  • extra space inside to allow them to use a wheelchair or rollator indoors

Contact us about this reduction so we can arrange to visit the property. We can also let you know how to send us photos of your home as an alternative.

We will also need to see a letter from your GP, social worker or physiotherapist, stating how the adaptations or space are essential and really important for your wellbeing as someone with a disability.

Last reviewed: May 2, 2024 by Adam

Next review due: November 2, 2024

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