Glasgow City Council

Council Tax for students

What is Student Exemption/Discount and who can apply?

Student Exemption/Discount is an exemption or reduction from Council Tax liability where residents occupying a property meet certain criteria, namely:

  • Full-time students, undertaking a specified course of study for a minimum of 21 hours per week and 24 weeks per year. Specified courses include:
    • A degree, certificate or diploma
    • A doctor of Philosophy or Master's degree (or comparable)
    • A certificate or diploma in professional studies (or comparable)
    • A licentiate of a theological college
  • In addition, students under 20 can also be studying courses no higher than:
    • Higher or A-Level
    • Ordinary National Certificate
    • Ordinary National Diploma

Full information relating to the Council Tax rules for students can be found in the Scottish Government's Guide for Students, Apprentices and School Leavers.

I am an international student - What are the rules for me?

If you are a student from elsewhere in the EU, you may still be regarded as a student for Council Tax purposes. Remember, you must fulfil the same criteria as U.K students for Council Tax. This means that you must be registered and attending a designated educational establishment and undertaking a course which leads to the award of a relevant qualification by that establishment. Any non-student spouses or adult dependants who live with you may remain liable to pay Council Tax.

I am living in a Halls of Residence - do I need to do anything?

If you are a student living in a registered Halls of Residence, you will not have to register for Council Tax and will automatically be exempt. If you move out of a Halls of Residence into a property elsewhere in Glasgow you will need to complete the application form to collect your details.

I am a student but my spouse/dependant is from outwith the UK - What are the rules for me?

If you are a full-time student but also live with a spouse/partner or adult dependant from outwith the UK, they can also claim Council Tax exemption if they can prove that they either have no recourse to public funds or are prohibited from taking paid employment.
Example: John is an international student and his wife Debbie is a non-student who is prohibited from taking paid employment or receiving benefits. They apply for exemption and provide proof of student status, and provide a copy of the Debbie's passport showing "no recourse to public funds" or "prohibited from taking paid employment" they are both held liable for Council Tax but a full exemption is granted and no Council Tax is due to be paid.

What do I need to do to apply & what proof do I require?

You should complete the application form which will provide you with the relevant prompts and information relating to the College/University you are attending. If you are not attending either: Glasgow University, University of West of Scotland, Strathclyde University, Caledonian University, City of Glasgow College, Glasgow Clyde College, Kelvin College, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow International College or Royal Conservatoire of Scotland you must print off and complete the pdf icon Proof of student status [145kb] and submit this alongside your application by attaching this to the electronic form or by submitting this by post.

When might I receive a bill/reminder or correspondence from Sheriff Officers for Council Tax?

There may be several reasons you will be charged Council Tax:

  • If you have not submitted an exemption form
  • If your tenancy commenced prior to becoming a full time student
  • If your tenancy is not due to end until after your studies cease
  • If you have dropped out of your course
  • If you have graduated Remember you're no longer a student once your course ends - This is often before you graduate.
  • If you are moving between establishments there may be a break in your exemption/discount, as you will not be registered as a full-time student with a college or university during this period. There are special rules for students articulating from HNC or HND Courses into the 2nd or 3rd year of a degree course - please contact us if this is the case.

I am a non-student living with students. Will I have to pay full Council Tax?

This depends on who else lives with you, If you are the only non-student in the property you will receive a 25% discount on your bill as long as the full-time student(s), have completed Council Tax exemption/ discount claim form and supplied proof of student status.

If you live with someone who is not a student or who can be disregarded from Council Tax for any other reason you will not receive a discount on your bill. The student will be made non-liable for Council Tax purposes. This means that students are excluded from liability for Council Tax where they share liability for a property with non-students and that only the non-students in a property will receive a bill. The non-students will be responsible for making sure all Council Tax due is paid although they may be to reduce this amount by claiming Council Tax Reduction which is an income based reduction.

Example: A student and two non-students jointly rent a flat. The student completes a Council Tax exemption/ discount form and supplies proof of student status, the student will not be held liable for Council Tax and the two non- students will be billed the full amount of Council Tax due.

I am a gap year student - Do I have to pay Council Tax?

This depends on whether or not you are registered with a college/university as a full-time student. If so, you are entitled to claim student exemption/discount. If you are not registered then you will be unable to claim student exemption/discount, however you may instead be able to claim Council Tax Reduction which is an income based reduction.

Your college /university must provide proof that they consider you to be a full-time student during this period.

I am following a full-time course on a part-time basis due to health or medical reasons and I intend to return to full-time - Do I have to pay Council Tax?

This depends on what your college/university consider you to be - If you are still considered to be a full-time student by the college/university, then you are entitled to claim student exemption/discount. If you are not considered to be a full-time student you would not be entitled to claim student exemption/discount, however you may be eligible to claim Council Tax reduction which is an income based reduction.

The college /university must provide proof that they consider you a full-time student during this period in order for a Council Tax exemption/discount to be awarded.

I have just completed a course and I am going to start another course next term - Do I have to pay Council Tax during the summer?

If you are moving between courses or college/university there may be a break in your exemption/discount, as you will not be registered as a full-time student with any college or university during the summer period. In this case, no Council Tax Exemption/Discount can be given until you commence your new course.

If you are aged 18 or 19 and have left school/college on or after 1st May after undertaking a course of non-advanced education e.g. Highers or A-Levels, you may be entitled to exemption/discount up until 1st October of that year. Please contact us to apply for this.

I am a research/writing up student - Do I have to pay Council Tax?

Students undertaking Research courses or writing up a thesis or dissertation are only considered to be students for Council Tax purposes where their educational establishment considers that they still fulfil the regulations for being a full-time student.

What happens if the occupiers of the property change or I move to a different address?

You will need to let us know of any changes in the occupants of the property to allow us to update the liability. Please submit a new application form  to allow us to collect details of this and review entitlement to Exemption/Discount. .

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