In some cases you or your property may qualify for a full exemption against council tax, water and waste water charges or qualify for a council tax discount. If however, you have a property that has been unoccupied for over 12 months you may be charged 200% council tax.
To get an exemption or discount you must complete the relevant application form and provide any required supporting documents below.
The following people / properties are exempt from council tax:
People with severe mental impairment
To qualify for an exemption or discount, you must meet these 2 criteria - more details are on the form:
- be in receipt of a qualifying benefit (disability related benefit)
- have a medical practitioner certify that you are suffering from both a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning and that both appear to be permanent
What may be awarded:
- 100% Exemption - if all adult occupiers meet these 2 criteria
- or a 25% Discount - if only one of 2 adult occupiers meets these 2 criteria
- or No Reduction - if only one of 3 or more adult occupiers meets these 2 criteria
Unoccupied properties, including unfurnished properties and those in need of major structural repairs and improvements
Property undergoing major work
Properties in need of major structural repairs or improvements.
All residents under 18 years of age
Single person (one adult)
You only need to pay the full Council Tax amount if there are 2 adults or more (aged 18 or over) living in a household. If only one adult lives in the household, then you are entitled to a 25% discount.
Full-time students & student nurses
Youth trainee nurses
Council tax relief claim form - Skill seeker
Someone aged under 25 who is undertaking a Skill Seekers course
Council tax relief claim form - Skill seeker
If you are awarded a discount you will still have to pay water and waste water charges.
Long term patient in hospital/home
Someone in hospital or residential care home with no intention to return to the property.
Providing or receiving care elsewhere
Someone who provides or receives personal care away from their sole or main residence because of old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental disorder.
Council tax relief claim form - Providing or receiving care elsewhere
Someone who provides care/support on behalf of a local authority, central government or charity. Must provide care for at least 24 hours per week, live in the property where the care is provided and receive no more than £44.00 per week.
Voluntary care workers
Someone who provides care/support for at least 35 hours per week and lives in the same property as the person requiring care. The person requiring care cannot be the carer's partner or child under 18. The person receiving care must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
Council tax relief claim form - Voluntary care workers
People in prison
Council tax relief claim form - Persons in detention
- Spouses of non British students
- Receiving child benefit
- School leavers
Council tax relief claim form - Status discount
Care leaver discount and exemption
The Council Tax (Discount)(Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2018 give a discount or exemption to care leavers from Council Tax if you meet the criteria.
A care leaver:
- is at least 18 years old but under 26
- is no longer looked after by a local authority
- was on that person's 16th birthday or at any subsequent time looked after by a local authority.
Amount of discount
We may offer:
- a 25% discount if all but one of the adults living at the property are care leavers
- a 100% exemption if the property is occupied solely by care leavers.
This discount reduces your council tax, water and sewerage charges. Although you may have left care beforehand, the earliest date the discount or exemption can be applied from is 01 April 2018.
How to apply
Get in touch with the Throughcare and Aftercare team of the relevant authority you were cared for by and ask them to provide us with confirmation you are a care leaver. We may contact you for further information.
You can contact Falkirk Council Throughcare and Aftercare team by emailing email@example.com.
The Scottish Government introduced new legislation in 2013, which we are implementing from 01 April 2017. If your property has been unoccupied for 12 months or more it may be subject to a 200% charge, there will be no addition to Water & Waste charges. The legislation was introduced to encourage owners of long term empty properties to rent / sell these properties to get them back into use.
There are certain protections from this levy, eg if your property is being marketed for sale or rent then the additional charge would not apply until after 24 months, or if the property is occupied as your second home for at least 25 days each year.
If you require further information you should contact 01324 506070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit any documents you have been asked to supply using our online form.
You can currently use the form to submit documents for the following services:
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax
- Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants
- Education Maintenance Allowance
Frequently asked questions
- Am I entitled to a council tax discount?
- Who is exempt from council tax?
- When would a property be exempt from council tax?
- What is a second adult reduction?
- I have moved to a new address but not yet sold my old property, can I apply for a council tax discount/exemption?
- When I send in the evidence (for council tax discounts, etc.), is a copy ok or do you need original documents?
- Can a council tax discount/exemption be backdated?
- What exemptions can be claimed on council tax when there has been a bereavement?
- How do I report someone claiming financial help they are not entitled to?
Am I entitled to a council tax discount?
Who is exempt from council tax?
Full-time students living alone, under-18 year olds, members of foreign armed forces and people with severe mental impairment do not pay council tax.
When would a property be exempt from council tax?
What is a second adult reduction?
If there is someone living in your home with you, who you do not receive child benefit for and who is on a low income, you may be eligible for a 25% second adult discount on your council tax.
I have moved to a new address but not yet sold my old property, can I apply for a council tax discount/exemption?
Yes. If your old property is unfurnished you may be able to claim an exemption for up to 6 months from the date you move out. After 6 months you will have to pay a percentage of the council tax. If your old property is furnished you may be entitled to a discount, until the property is sold or rented out.
**Please be aware that unoccupied reductions only apply for a maximum of 12 months from the date of last occupation, after which an unoccupied additional levy charge may apply.**
When I send in the evidence (for council tax discounts, etc.), is a copy ok or do you need original documents?
Copies can be accepted. If you send original documents they will be returned to you.
Can a council tax discount/exemption be backdated?
Yes, as long as you have the necessary proof.
What exemptions can be claimed on council tax when there has been a bereavement?
A full exemption can be claimed if the owner of the property has passed away and the property is unoccupied, and if the executor of the estate is awaiting a grant of confirmation to allow them to take control of the estate.
There is a 6 months maximum exemption once the executor has been confirmed.
How do I report someone claiming financial help they are not entitled to?
If you know someone is getting financial help they are not entitled to, for example housing benefit, council tax reduction etc, use our Fraud page to report it.