How to Avoid Paying Council Tax in the UK?

Council Tax

Some people can avoid paying council tax in the UK. University and college students are exempt to pay the council tax. But, if you want to be exempted you need to submit some evidence to the council.

In this article, we are going to walk you through the process of how to avoid paying council tax in the UK.

Let’s get started!

What is council tax?

Council tax is a tax payable by citizens across Britain who own or rent a property. Most people are likely to be subject to payment but there are still some concessions and special exceptions.

The Gove uses this tax for nearby maintenance and services.

Who has to pay council tax?

If you live in a property as a homeowner or renter in Britain, there are chances that you have to pay council tax to the authority. Also, you have to be 18 or over.

However, there are some limited circumstances where you are not subject to the council tax.

What factors impact council tax?

Each property in Britain is subject to pay the council tax. But there are some factors associated with the properties that affect your bill. These are:

  • Size of the property
  • Status of inhabitants
  • Number of inhabitants
  • Nearby amenities and services
  • location

Who is not accountable for council tax?

Some people are not subject to paying the council tax to the authority. That means you can get a concession or discount on paying the council tax if you get one.

You are disregarded if you are:

How can you get a discount on paying council tax?

For any discount or an exemption, you have to apply to the council tax authority.

Your local council tax is based on a minimum of two adults sharing the property. So, if you live alone on your property, you can get a 25% reduction on paying the council tax.

If everyone living in your household is degraded then you can get a 50% discount on paying the council bill.

You can get a 25% discount on your council bill either:

  • You live with your own
  • Everyone in your household is degraded.

If every one of your households is a full-time student then there is no need to pay the council tax.

You can contact the local council if you have any doubts about whether you can get any discount or who is responsible for paying.

When do you have to pay council tax on empty possessions?

If you own an empty property in Britain, you can apply for a council tax reduction. But, it depends on the local authority if they decide to provide you with a discount on the property or not. But most of the time they do something for you.

If you own an empty property in Wales or England, the council tax will be charged double. In Scotland, if you owe an empty possessions for more than two years then the council tax that you owe can be doubled.

If you owe an inherited property that is empty you will not pay council tax until after probate, even then also you will get a further six months extension.

What occurs if you lie about council tax?

If you are trying to achieve a council tax reduction on lying, for example, you are telling the authority that all the members of your households are in full-time education when you are not, the local council authority may prosecute you.

Also, they can pose a financial penalty or evasion.

You can be prosecuted and charged a penalty for not telling the truth to the authority. Also, if your circumstances have changed with time then also you need to inform the authority. You must not keep getting council reductions if you are not entitled to them.

Council tax evasion penalties:

In most cases, the council tax authority penalizes the first offenders with an evasion penalty.

If you apply a reduction of council tax wrongfully then the evasion penalty will be 50% of the reduction that you have received in addition to 100% of the reduction back. The amount can be min £100 and a maximum of £1,000.

If you did not get the council tax reduction wrongfully but still want to evade the council tax then you will be penalized a minimum of £100.

If you have provided wrong information to the authority but it was judged as careless rather than an intention to evade the tax, you will be hit a fine of £70.

Can you go to prison if you don’t pay the council tax?

If the council got to fail to collect the tax from you with various enforcement methods, then the council can apply to the Magistrates Court. If the court finds that you are intentionally neglecting to pay the debt then you can be sent to prison for 90 days.


Can you live in Britain deprived of paying council tax?

Ans: If you live in the UK you are subject to pay the council tax if you are 18 or above. A full council tax is charged based on 2 adults living in a home. Partners or spouses both are responsible to pay the council tax.

What happens if you refuse to pay the council tax?

Ans: if you refuse to pay the council tax then the council will apply for a liability order to recover the debt. So, they can recover the money that you owe. This is called an enforcement action. Generally, the council will ask you to pay the debt within the current tax year.


When the council counts how many people are living on a property, sometimes they do not count some people as taxpayers. These people are referred to as disregard people.

So, you might apply to the authority for a tax reduction. But, you have to satisfy one of such categories that are exempted to pay the council tax.

If you provide any wrong information to the authority you can be penalized. So, you should follow this guide to gather more knowledge about council tax reduction and concession.

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