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Council Tax Reduction - non-dependant deductions

This advice applies to Scotland

If someone else lives in your home a deduction may be made to your Council Tax Reduction (CTR) if the person is treated as a 'non-dependant'. The deduction is made on the assumption that the non-dependant should make a contribution towards your council tax of at least the amount of the deduction.

Who is a non-dependant

The following people are not treated as non-dependants:

  • your partner, including polygamous spouses
  • dependent children of you or your partner
  • foster children
  • anyone who is jointly liable for the council tax, for example, a joint tenant or owner
  • someone who lives with you to look after you or your partner, and who is employed by a voluntary body which charges you for this service
  • boarders, sub-tenants and licensees.

When is a non-dependant deduction made

Even if a non-dependant lives with you, a deduction will not always be made from your CTR. Whether or not a deduction is made depends on both the:

  • CTR applicant's circumstances, and
  • non-dependant's circumstances.

The CTR applicant's circumstances

If you are the CTR applicant, no deduction will be made even if a non-dependant lives with you if:

  • you or your partner is blind, or treated as blind, or
  • you are the CTR applicant and are receiving (see next paragraph) attendance allowance, constant attendance allowance paid with an industrial or war disablement pension, disability living allowance care component, the daily living component of personal independence payment, or an armed forces independence payment.

If you are not receiving a benefit in the previous paragraph because payment has been suspended, for example because of hospitalisation, you are treated as if you are still receiving it.

If you, or your partner are aged 65 or over and, either a non-dependant comes to live with you or, an existing non-dependant's circumstances change in way that would increase the non-dependant deduction to be made in your CTR calculation, the effect of the change may not affect your CTR calculation for 26 weeks.

Top tips

If you have a 'non-dependant' living in your home the local authority will reduce your Council Tax Reduction on the assumption that the non-dependant should make a contribution towards your council tax of at least the amount of the deduction. It will apply the highest rate of deduction unless it has evidence to show that a lower rate should apply. You should give the local authority as much evidence as you can of your non-dependant's gross income.

The non-dependant's circumstances

No deduction will be made if the non-dependant is:

  • disregarded for council tax discounts (see next paragraph)
  • 16 or 17 year old
  • a full-time student
  • receiving a training allowance in connection with certain youth training provisions
  • staying with you temporarily but has a home elsewhere, for example, a visiting relative
  • in receipt of income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA), pension credit or, income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • from 1 April 2016, on Universal Credit (UC) on the basis that the non-dependant does not have any earned income
  • in hospital for more than 52 weeks. Separate periods in hospital are added together and are treated as a single period if they are separated by intervals of 28 days or less.

Some people are disregarded for council tax discount purpose, if the non-dependant is one of these people, no deduction will be made.

If you are jointly liable for council tax with someone other than your partner, any non-dependant deduction will be divided equally between you.

If you, or your partner, are aged 65 or over and, either a non-dependant comes to live with you or, an existing non-dependant's circumstances change in way that would increase the non-dependant deduction to be made in your CTR calculation, the deduction will not be increased until 26 weeks after the change.

The amount of any non-dependant deduction depends on the hours of work and the gross income of the non-dependant and their partner.

If you have more than one non-dependant:

  • if they are a couple or in a polygamous marriage, then only one deduction is made, at the highest rate which applies to any of them
  • if they are not a couple or in a polygamous marriage, deductions will be made for each non-dependant.

The local authority will apply the highest rate of deduction unless it has evidence to show that a lower rate should apply. You should give the local authority as much evidence as you can of your non-dependant's gross income. If the local authority has some information about the non-dependant's income, but not all the information it needs, it should not ignore the information it has. Instead, it must decide what the non-dependant's income probably is, given the evidence it does have, and then make a deduction on that basis.

If you would like more information about how your CTR is calculated, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau - where to get advice.

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