A MUM has revealed how she bagged herself a £600 refund after taking up a Martin Lewis tip.
The moneysavingexpert.com reader clawed back the money after realising she was eligible for a council tax reduction.
You can get a discount on the bill, and in some cases receive 100% off.
But you have to meet certain criteria to get the reduction and need to apply through your local council.
Martin Lewis' moneysavingexpert.com's latest newsletter revealed how one woman, known as Karen, realised she was eligible for a refund after reading an article on the consumer website.
She managed to get the £600 refund as she lives with her daughter, who is in full-time education – meaning she gets a 25% discount.
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Karen said: "I read your article on the 25% council tax discount you get if you only live with full-time students.
"I applied to my daughter's college to get proof she attended from 2020 to 2023, and sent this to my local authority.
"It's now refunding me over £600."
What is a council tax discount and who is eligible?
Depending on your circumstances, you can get a council tax discount, or even an exemption.
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Properties can get 100% off if all the people living in them:
- are full-time students
- are aged under 18
- are members of the armed forces in armed forces accommodation
- have moved into a care home or hospital
- are living with somebody else to receive care for reasons of old age, disability, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence, or past or present mental disorder
- have a severe mental impairment
- are diplomats
- have been detained in prison
Those who can get a council tax discount include those like Karen, who is living with a full-time student and gets 25% off.
This is because council tax bills make the assumption there are two adults living in a home.
But if only one adult is actually in the property, they are eligible for a single-person discount.
You can get a 25% single-person discount if you share your home with someone who is considered "disregarded" too.
If everyone in the home is disregarded, you can get a 50% discount.
Those who fit into the disregarded category include:
- an apprentice studying for a recognised qualification
- a young person (under 25) in approved training
- an 18 or 19-year-old in full-time education
- a student nurse
- people staying in hostels or night shelters
- carers (providing at least 35 hours' care a week) if they are not the main resident's husband, wife or civil partner
- monks and nuns
- members of visiting forces
- a full-time student (attending university or college, or under the age of 20 and studying A levels or their equivalent)
- resident hospital patients
- people living in care homes
- people who are severely mentally impaired (this can include people with dementia)
- individuals with diplomatic privileges and immunities
If you think you qualify for a reduction or exemption you should write to your local council and make your case.
If you don't know what council area you fall under, the government has a council locator tool you can use.
You just have to enter your postcode and it will draw up your local authority.
You can also get a council tax reduction if you are on a low income – and you may be eligible for 100% off.
But each local council has different criteria to get a discount or exemption so you should speak to yours to see what help you might be able to get.
Your income, savings and whether you live alone will be considered when you apply.
Pensioners can also get council tax reductions as well as those who own properties which are empty.
Plus, if you are experiencing "exceptional" hardship for reasons out of your control, like losing a job, you may qualify for "hardship relief".
Again, you should contact your local council about what you are entitled to.
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