Council tax helps pay for local services such as schools, libraries and rubbish collection. Most people are liable to pay council tax once they reach the age of 18.
However, not all full time students are exempt from paying.
You should make sure you budget for this extra expense ahead of time.
Council tax rates vary depending on the value of the property. You can find out how much the charges are for Edinburgh on the council website.
It is your responsibility to inform the local council of your student status as soon as you have enrolled at the University, or if you move to a different property during the year.
Failure to do this may result in you receiving a bill for council tax, or you a fine. Your details could be passed on to a debt collector for non payment.
You can fill out the student exemption form on the council’s website.
If you bring by your spouse or civil partner to the UK on a dependant visa, they would normally be charged council tax.
There is a special exemption covering student dependants within the legislation, since they may not legally have the option to work, and certainly will not be able to claim council tax benefit, due to visa conditions which prohibit recourse to public funds.
This exemption only applies to dependants of international students who are subject to immigration control and does not apply to the dependants of EEA students.
If you want to apply for exemption for your dependants, the Advice Place has a standard letter you can use as a guide when writing to the Council to request an exemption. Contact the Advice Place directly to ask for a copy.
Further information on council tax charges and how to obtain exemption is available on the Advice Place website.
This article was published on Jun 12, 2013