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It would make more sense i suppose for those with pending applications who are unable to work. But just wondering. Seen some pages online that are vague about it.

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Determining just which people count as "disregards" (i.e. people who don't "count") for the purposes of a Council Tax calculation can be confusing to say the least!

The UK Gov site lists the following people as "disregards":

  • under 18 years old
  • on certain apprentice schemes
  • 18 or 19 years old and in full-time education
  • a full-time student at college or university
  • under 25 years old and get funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • a student nurse
  • a foreign language assistant registered with the British Council
  • severely mentally impaired
  • a live-in carer for someone who is not your partner, spouse, or child under 18
  • a diplomat

Which sounds perfectly simple, no asylum seekers or refugees on there! Except this list is incomplete!

The relevant bit of legislation is The Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992 S.I. 1992/548 which gives the basic list and has been amended substantially over the years but then there's also the The Council Tax (Additional Provisions for Discount Disregards) Regulations 1992 S.I. 1992/552, which has itself been amended and added to by additional S.I.s over the years (and trawling through them on legislation.gov.uk is a nightmare!) but the only one I can find referring to refugees was The Council Tax (Discount Disregards and Exempt Dwellings) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 S.I. 2022/439 and its Welsh counterpart which makes an explicit reference to refugees who are on a visa under the "Homes for Ukraine" scheme creating a new class of "disregard" persons thus:

Class G: a person who holds permission to enter or to stay in the United Kingdom granted under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme route in Appendix Ukraine Scheme of the Immigration Rules.

Of course even if an entire household consists of "disregard" persons there's still a Council Tax bill - it's just discounted to 50%.

But wait! There's exceptions to that as well - as per The Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992 S.I. 1992/558), which has had various amendments itself but again the only important changes for your question is in S.I. 2022/4329 and is in section 3:

(b)after paragraph (3) insert— “(3A) For the purposes of Classes B, D, E, F, H, I, J, K, L, Q and T of article 3, in considering whether a dwelling is unoccupied, any occupation by a relevant Ukrainian person is to be disregarded.”. 3) In article 3—

(a)in Class N, in paragraph (2)(a)—

(i)at the end of sub-paragraph (ii) omit “or”;

(ii)at the end of sub-paragraph (iii) insert—“or

(iv)where there are other residents of the dwelling who fall within (i), (ii) or (iii) above, a relevant Ukrainian person;”;

(b)in Class S at the end insert “or one or more such persons together with one or more relevant Ukrainian persons”;

(c)in Class U for paragraph (2)(a) substitute—

“(a)“relevant person” means—

(i)a person falling within paragraphs (i), (ii) or (iii) of paragraph (2)(a) of Class N above; or

(ii)a relevant Ukrainian person; and”.

So if it's all Ukrainian refugees - no council tax bill.

If it's all:

  • Students (Class N)
  • Residents under 18 (Class S)
  • Severely Mentally Impaired (Class U)

living with Ukrainian refugees it's exempt and there's no bill.

To further muddy the waters individual councils can offer discretionary council tax reductions to additional classes of individuals - which may account for some of the contradictory information you've been seeing online.

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  • Love your answers, as always. Out of curiosity, I assume you must be a professional lawyer? If so, may I ask what your area of practice is? Jul 13, 2022 at 21:56
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    @JosephP. No, I'm not a lawyer - just someone who for various reasons over the years has had cause to delve into legal topics so I try and answer where I can :) Jul 14, 2022 at 8:42
  • Are you by chance then a programmer? Jul 14, 2022 at 10:27
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    @JosephP. Guilty as charged! Jul 14, 2022 at 11:22

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