Council Tax Exemption Letter
Please read the below prior to requesting a letter.
What is Council Tax?
The Council Tax is set by local Councils to pay for local services. There is one bill per dwelling (whether it is owned or rented) which is normally payable by the owner-occupier(s) or tenant(s).
Exemption from paying Council Tax
Students who are exempt:
Students fully matriculated on a full-time Programme of Study.
- Full-time students interrupting their studies or studying as "exam only" or repeating a year as part-time (full or part year) continue to be exempt as long as they continue to be enrolled (and later resume) on a full-time Programme of Study.
- Full-time Research students i.e. MSc(R), PhD, M.Litt, MPhil, (and other “Higher Degrees”) are exempt from paying council tax during their formal maximum period of study, the duration of which is determined by the Degree Regulations. Research students who were full-time during their prescribed period of study are not automatically exempt for a period greater than the maximum period of study i.e. if an extension is granted. An extension of less than 24 weeks in any given year of study is not exempt from council tax (irrespective if the extension is studied full-time). An extension of more than 24 weeks, in any given year of study, can be exempt if confirmation is received from the School that the student is required to undertake academic study towards completion of their thesis of > 21 hours per week over the period of the extension. In these cases confirmation from a relevant member of staff in the School on headed paper should accompany any request for a council tax exemption certificate. A student is not exempt once a thesis is submitted.
Properties which may be exempt
- Hall of Residence (including Student Houses). If you live in a hall or residence you will not have to prove your student status.
- where all the residents in the property are full-time students.
- where some other person (e.g. a parent, as owner occupier) is liable for the bill. The non-student(s) are solely liable for the Council Tax.
A student living elsewhere than in a Hall of Residence may be asked by the Council to prove his/her student status (e.g. in order to prove that a student flat is entitled to exemption).
Registering exemption with councils
You are not automatically exempt from council tax: you must register exemption with the Council yourself.
Students living in Edinburgh or Midlothian:
- Student Administration will provide the City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council with a list of full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students who are resident within these areas. The information contained in the listing will comply with the Data Protection Act. Students are given an opportunity to opt out of this when they register with the University. The Council will use a student list from Student Administration to verify your status as a matriculated student at the University.
- The Council does not automatically grant exemption to a student based on the list alone: you must specifically ask for exemption, from the Council directly. Advice on how to apply for exemption is available on the Councils’ websites:
- You will be asked by the Council to provide the following information: Name, Matriculation Number, your Term Time Address, the Date you moved in, your previous address, Name of University, Start and End Date of Programme of Study.
- Please note that students do not have to complete a Confirmation of Student Status Form sent out by Edinburgh Council if they have agreed at matriculation that Student Administration can include them on the list sent to the City of Edinburgh Council.
- The council may ask for you to provide a Council Tax Exemption Letter. Please note that the Council will only accept as valid documentation issued by Student Administration. Documents or letters provided by other departments or staff in the University will not be accepted.
How to get a Council Tax Exemption Letter
You will only be required to send an exemption letter to a council if they have requested you do so. Students in University Halls of Residence do not require a letter.
- Students who are matriculated for the current academic session can view, print and send their Council Tax Exemption Letter via the "Launch self-service" button on Personal Details in MyEd. The City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils accept electronic versions sent via this method.
Paper copies can be ordered and will be mailed to semester addresses within 10 working days. The City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils (and most councils) accept electronic versions via MyEd therefore a paper copy should only be requested if the council has specifically requested a paper copy.