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Council Tax Discounts and Disregards

There are a variety of discounts and disregards which you may be entitled to. If you are disregarded then it means that we do not count you when we work out the number of people living at your property.

Single persons discount

A full council tax bill is calculated on the basis that there are at least two people aged 18 or over living in the property. Where there is only one person over the age of 18 resident in the property a 25% discount can be applied. This discount can only apply to your main home and not any second homes.

Please email your Local Authority confirming the date you wish to claim from. If you are claiming a discount because someone has left your home you will need to let your Local Authority know where they have moved to. Please be aware that generally you will not be entitled to Single Person Discount if someone has left your home for a temporary period.

If you are already receiving a discount and another adult moves into the household you must notify your Local Authority within 21 days, clearly stating the date this change took place.

Single person discount review

Councils across Dorset are carrying out a review of all council tax payers claiming a 25 per cent single person discount on their council tax bill.

The review will involve the councils working with Capita Local Government who will be using data supplied from credit reference agencies to check against those currently receiving a 25 per cent discount.

Your local council is keen to ensure that everyone who is entitled to the single person discount receives it. However, it recognises that taxpayers who claim the discount improperly place an unnecessary burden on other residents and it is undertaking this review to stop this.

Those that claim the discount improperly directly reduce the amount of council tax collected and reduce the funding that can be spent on local services.

If you are claiming this discount properly, there is no need to worry. If you are claiming a discount you are not entitled to, please contact your local council immediately to avoid further action being taken.

What should I do if I receive a review letter?

Please don't worry, we are just wanting to make sure that those people genuinely entitled to the discount are getting it.

Whether or not you think you are still entitled to the single person discount, you must respond by either completing the online form or by completing the form sent to you and returning it to Capita Local Government.

Complete the online form

If you do not complete the review form, this may result in your discount being cancelled and a penalty of £70 being imposed.

Please do not return the form to your council.

Second homes

There are various classes of second homes relating to furnished and unfurnished properties which are not anyone's sole and/or main residence. The level of discount applied is set by your Local Authority.

Class A - second homes where occupation is prohibited by law for a continuous period of at least 28 days in the relevant year, e.g. holiday homes or chalets subject to a planning condition restricting year round occupancy

Class B - second homes where occupation is not restricted

Class C - unfurnished and occupied properties not needing or undergoing major structural alterations

Class D - unfurnished and occupied properties needing or undergoing major structural alterations

Further information on Classes C and D can be found on the ‚Äčempty properties page.

Disregarded people

Certain groups of people can be disregarded for council tax purposes. These are:

  • persons in detention
  • severely mentally impaired
  • persons for whom child benefit is payable
  • students
  • traditional student nurses
  • youth training trainees
  • apprentices
  • hospital patients
  • patients in homes
  • carers
  • residents of hostels
  • international HQ staff
  • religious communities
  • school and college leavers
  • visiting forces
  • spouse/civil partner or dependant of a foreign student
  • diplomats

If, after counting the number of adults living in your dwelling and then deducting from that number anyone included on the above list, the number is less than two, then you should be entitled to a discount. Find out more information on Disregards and the criteria to claim. Please contact your Local Authority for an application form.

Discretionary discounts

In exceptional circumstances, the council may award discretionary council tax discounts of up to 100%. Any application (with supporting evidence) must be made in writing to the council.


Annual reviews are carried out of all discounts and disregards to ensure that you are still entitled to them. Failure to return the review form may result in the reduction being cancelled.


Empty property review


Local Authorities are required by law to maintain accurate records for billing and collection of Council Tax. Christchurch, East Dorset and North Dorset Councils are currently undertaking a review of empty Council Tax properties in conjunction with Capacity Grid. Please update the property records for your address by clicking on the link below for the area you live in.

Christchurch (opens in a new window)

East Dorset (opens in a new window)

North Dorset (opens in a new window)

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