If you live alone, you probably enjoy the freedom of being able to do what you want, whenever you choose. But with this flexibility, you’ll also have the responsibility of paying all your bills on your own. There’s no one to share the cost of the food shop or utilities bills with, so you might want to try out some cost-saving activities if you live alone.
One saving that many single people can forget to claim is a reduction in council tax. If you live alone, you could be eligible for Single Person Council Tax Discount. Let’s take a look at whether you could get this discount and how you can apply for it.
Are you eligible?
So who can actually get Single Person Council Tax Discount? Well, the obvious is if you live completely on your own – you’re automatically entitled to the reduction. If you don’t live alone but you’re the only adult in your property, you can still get the discount. So if you’re a single parent and you live with your kids, you will qualify.
And there are some other groups of people who don’t count as a ‘second resident’ for council tax purposes. If you live with any of the below, you could still get a Single Person Discount on your Council Tax.
• Apprentices on some recognised schemes.
• Under-25s in approved training programmes.
• Full-time students – that’s anyone at university or college or anyone under 20 who is studying A levels or an equivalent qualification.
• 18 or 19-year-olds in full-time education.
• People who live in a care home or who have been in hospital long-term.
• People suffering from a condition like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
• Full-time carers – if they have to stay there at least 35 hours a week.
• Members of the armed forces from a country other than Britain.
• People with diplomatic privileges or immunities.
• Monks and nuns.
How can you claim the discount?
You should get Single Person Discount automatically for your council tax if you qualify. But if you think you’re eligible and you’ve not got the discount, write to your local council to ask them for it. They might need to see some evidence of your status – if you live with a student for example, you could send proof that they’re at university. Your council can take up to two months to decide if you’re eligible. But if you are, you can claim back any council tax you’ve overpaid.
If you believe you have been overpaying, read our previous blog to find out how to claim a tax rebate. You can usually get a refund of up to four tax years but if it turns out you’re paying too much because your council made a mistake, you might be able to reclaim for further back.