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Council Tax discounts

Council Tax is calculated assuming two adults live at the address. If there is only one adult at the address you may receive a 25 per cent discount on your bill. Complete the application form to apply for a single person discount.

For calculating Council Tax, the following are not counted. Please contact us if any of the below apply to you:

  • full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth trainees
  • patients who live permanently in a hospital
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
  • people who are suffering from a severe mental impairment - complete the application form 
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
  • care providers, or careworkers working for low pay (usually for charities)
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • people caring for someone who is not a spouse, partner, or child under 18 years of age
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • members of religious communities
  • members of international organisations with headquarters in the UK, and their non-British spouses
  • persons on whom diplomatic privileges and immunities are conferred
  • persons 18 years of age for whom Child Benefit is payable

If all of the occupants fall into any of these groups then a 25 per cent discount or even a full exemption may apply.

A 50 per cent discount may be available for annexes in some limited circumstances. Please contact us for further details.

Discounts for empty properties

Discounts are also available if your property is empty. Please note that unoccupied but furnished properties do not qualify for a discount.

  • Uninhabitable properties: a 50 per cent discount for as long as it remains in that state, or for one year (whichever is the lesser time).
  • Vacant properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished: a 100 per cent discount for a maximum of 28 days.

Long term empty properties

Since April 1, 2013, local authorities in England have been given the authority to charge a long term Empty Homes Premium on properties that have been empty for more than two years. We charge the following premiums on long term empty homes:

  • Properties that have been vacant for between two and five years: a 100 per cent premium is charged; 200 per cent Council Tax is payable.
  • Properties that have been vacant for between five and 10 years: a 200 per cent premium is charged; 300 per cent Council Tax is payable.
  • Properties that have been vacant for more than 10 years: a 300 per cent premium will be charged with effect from April 1, 2021; 400 per cent council tax is payable.

The Empty Homes Premium will be added to any property which has remained empty and unfurnished for longer than two years; regardless of how long the current owner has had the property, except for when:

  • The property is the main residence of a member of the armed forces absent as a result of such service.
  • The property forms part of a single property (i.e. an annex) which is being treated as a part of the main dwelling by a resident of that property.
  •  The property is on the market for sale or rent.

Please email ctax@copeland.gov.uk and request the Exception to the Council Tax Premium Application Form if the above circumstances apply to your empty property.

You are encouraged to contact us if you are considering purchasing a property that has been vacant for a while, as the premium may be charged as soon as you become the owner.

Discounts for care leavers 

If you are a ‘care leaver’ as defined in The Children (Care Leavers) Act 2000, you may be eligible for a discount from your Council Tax until your 25th birthday.

• Eligible children are those young people aged 16-17 who are still in care and have been ‘looked after’ for a total of 13 weeks from the age of 14 and including their 16th birthday;

• Relevant children are those young people aged 16 and 17 who have already left care, and who were ‘looked after’ for at least 13 weeks from the age of 14 and have been ‘looked after’ at some time while they were 16 or 17;

• Former relevant children are those young people aged 18, 19 or 20 who have been eligible and/or relevant.

View our Care Leavers Council Tax Policy and the application form.

If you think you may be entitled to this discount, or would like further details, please contact us.