Is Council Tax A Utility Bill?

1 min read • February 14 2024

What Is Council Tax? 

Council Tax is a tax implemented on properties within England, Scotland and Wales that is calculated both by their location, as well as the type of property. Certain areas in the UK will be more expensive than others, and will be controlled by the local council of the area the property is in. The tax is rated in “bands”, of which there are 8, ranked from from A, which is the lowest through to H which is the most expensive. Your physical bill will show you what your council tax pays for and what percentages of it go to which services.  

What Are Utility Bills? 

Your home utility bills consist of your gas, electricity, and water bills. Based on usage, contract and sometimes the global climate, these can go up and down throughout the year. Your utility bills are really the essential bills you need to pay every month. Water, heat and light are the bare minimum you need to keep a property running so, be sure to get these paid correctly and on time every month without fail.  

Council Tax vs. Utility Bills: Differentiating Essentials in Household Expenses 

Unlike utility bills, Council Tax won’t vary in cost. Most council taxes rise in price once a year, but beyond that they won’t differ, which makes them easier to workout what the cost is and how you can split it evenly between each housemate. Your council tax is very much a legal requirement and isn’t optional, so ensure it’s factored in to your budget and split evenly amongst your housemates. 

Council Tax Regulations and Compliance 

Unless you have an exemption, everyone over the age of 18 within England, Scotland and Wales must pay Council Tax. It can be split into either 10 or 12 monthly payments depending on your preference but must be paid on time every month. If you forget or refuse to pay your bill, your local council will send you a reminder giving you 7 days to pay. If you continue to not pay, you may be forced to pay the annual amount in one single payment. If you miss this payment, your council may take legal action against you, so it’s important not to miss it.  

Incorporating Council Tax into Your Monthly Budget 

Until the price goes up annually, your council tax cost will be exactly the same every month, which makes it easy to budget for. When the price does increase, it usually only goes up by several percent and depending on your council, usually does so to cover things like local policing, education, or local infrastructure. You or your landlord will likely receive a letter detailing the cost increase as well as what it entails ahead of time giving you time to adjust your budget accordingly.  

Student Exemption For Council Tax 

If everyone in your household is a full-time student, then you do not have to pay any Council Tax whilst you remain in the property. To count as a full-time student, your course must last for at least 1 full year and contain at least 21 hours study per week. If you study for a qualification up to A level qualification and you are under the age of 20, your course must last for at least 3 months, and take up at least 12 hours of studying per week.  

If you are all exempt from paying your council tax but find that you have received a bill in error, simply contact your local council office (or your landlord if they’re responsible) and you can apply for an exemption. 

What If Some Housemates Are Not Students? 

If somebody or several people within your household aren’t students but everyone else is, you’ll likely still receive a tax bill from your local council, however you’ll be eligible for a discount, and only the person or people in question are eligible to pay as full time students are completely exempt from paying their council tax for the duration of their course. This goes both ways too, so if one person in your household is a student but everyone else isn’t, the non-students will have to pay the council tax and the student won’t, with the whole household receiving a discount based on the amount of students in the house.  

Explore Combined Student Bills With TSEG

With The Student Energy Group, you can focus on what’s important without having to deal with the typical disagreements with utility companies and roommates about unpaid bills and missed deadlines.

We are a reliable student bills company, that do the hard work for you. Our student bill packages combine all of your household bills including internet, electricity, gas and even your TV Licence, everyone only has to pay one single payment, and isn’t left responsible when someone else hasn’t paid their share.

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