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Personal discounts

We calculate council tax as 50 per cent property tax and 50 per cent residential tax. The 50 per cent residential proportion is based on two adults (over the age of 18) living in the property.

If only one adult lives in a property, then the residential portion is reduced to 25 per cent – this reduction is known as single-person discount.  Single person discount is not applicable to empty properties.  

If there are two or more adults in a property then no discount is allowed, however certain people can be disregarded when we calculate a council tax bill.

The following categories of people are usually not counted (or ‘disregarded’) for council tax:

  • those caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under the age of 18
  • those who normally live in the property but are currently in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • full-time students (including Project 2000 nurses)
  • apprentices or Training Credits Programme trainees
  • people who are under the age of 20 who have left school or college after 30 April (not counted until 1 November of that year)
  • members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
  • people aged 18 for whom Child Benefit is still payable
  • student nurses
  • people employed to provide care
  • people staying in certain hostels and night shelters
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • diplomats, persons who have diplomatic immunity and certain members of their household.

The above groups are stated in broad terms and there are a number of conditions you will need to meet in order to qualify.

You will usually get a 50 per cent discount if nobody living in your home, including you, is ‘counted’ for council tax

How to apply for a personal discount

To apply, and for further information, please see our application forms.

Please contact our Council Tax team using the details below if you would like to paper copy of any form to complete.

Review of personal discounts

We review all single person discounts every two years.  If we do not receive confirmation from you that you are still a single occupier then your discount will be removed.

If you disagree with our decision 

If you disagree with our decision about a discount, please contact us explaining what you object to and why – for further information please see Appeal against your council tax.

Important – tell us about a change of circumstances

If you receive a discount or exemption, but experience a change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement, then you must let our council tax team know immediately – please complete our change of circumstances form.


  • If you inform another council department, such as the elections team, rather than our council tax team, then this information cannot lawfully be shared with us and your change of circumstances will not dealt with.
  • Telling the DWP, Pension Service or HM Revenue & Customs of a change does not mean that we will be notified of the change. You must tell us directly.

Failure to provide this information to us within 21 days is a criminal offence and could lead to prosecution or a financial penalty being imposed.

Contact us - Council tax

0345 302 2313
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Po Box 872