Council Tax

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Birmingham City Council Tax

Full-time Students

The Birmingham City Council web site state the following for what concerns Full-time students:

You could be exempt from paying council tax if:

  • You're a full time student living in a property on your own.
  • You're a full time student living in a property solely with other full time students.

You could be entitled to a 25% discount on your council tax if:

  • All residents are full time students except one other adult who is not a student.

If two or more non students occupy a property then there is no reduction. The people who are non students are usually the ones liable for paying the council tax.

PhD Students

The Birmingham City Council web site state the following for what concerns PhD students:

PhD students are exempt from Council Tax if they meet the criteria of a full-time student.

Although, the University of Birmingham sends to the Birmingham City Council documentation about the student status, you might need to fill the Student Exemption form as well.

Writing up Students

The Birmingham City Council agreed to extend the council tax exemption for writing up students from 3 months to 12 months more information on the subject can be found on the guild website

Sandwell Council

If you live in Smethwick or (broadly) further west, your local authority is probably Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. If you're not sure, use PetitionYourCouncil's post code checker.

Full-time PhD students

Council tax exemptions apply to properties that are wholly occupied by full-time students. Apply for an exemption by filling out the student exemption form. Proof of your student status should be included in your application and can be obtained from either the School's Research Students Tutor or Academic Services. SMBC won't accept University acceptance letters as proof - you need to speak to either the Research Students Tutor or Academic Services to get a proper confirmation letter.

Return the completed form and proof of eligibility to:

    Sandwell M.B.C (Council Tax)
    PO Box 239
    M33 6GU

Unlike Birmingham City Council, the University won't tell SMBC that you're a registered student, so it's up to you to contact them to apply for an exemption. If you don't, you'll automatically be required to pay the full rate of council tax, so send back the form as soon as possible.

Writing-up students

Contact SMBC to find out whether your writing-up status affects your council tax bill. You may be eligible for discounts or other types of exemption depending on your circumstances.

Get more specific advice and check your eligibility by using SMBC's online Benefits Calculator. If your circumstances change, you must contact SMBC as soon as possible so your council tax rate can be readjusted.

Useful contact numbers:

  • Council Tax: 0845 351 0015, 8am-6pm Mon-Fri (although this line is almost completely automated, mostly just repeats information already available online, and makes it very difficult to speak to an actual person)
  • Benefits: 0845 351 0020, 8am-6pm Mon-Fri

If you need advice on how to deal with your concil tax, you can contact the Advice & Representation Centre (ARC) in the Guild of Students.

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