Council Tax

Council Tax is set by your Local Authority in order to meet their budget requirements. The Money collect by The Council of the Isles of Scilly helps to fund the services it provides together with the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner.

Each Council receives money from the Government in the form of a Grant. This helps cover the cost of local services. The money received from the Government is not enough to cover the whole cost of Council services. The balance is funded from the Council Tax.

For more information on the services provided and how your Council Tax is used please refer to council tax financial details available on this page.

For more information regarding the services of the Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner, please contact the Devon and Cornwall Police on 01392 225555 or email: OPCC@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk
 
If you have questions you can get in contact with us at the following details:

Email: revenues@scilly.gov.uk

Phone: 0300 1234 105

Address:
PO Box 676
Truro
TR1 9EQ

 

Council Tax Bands

The Valuation Office Agency values properties for the purpose of council tax. The amount of council tax you have to pay depends on the band of your property.

The Valuation Office Agency, part of Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs, has put every home into one of eight valuation bands. The valuation is based on an estimate of what your home would have been worth on 1 April 1991.

Band

Property valuation (1 April 1991)

A

Up to and including £40,000

B

£40,001 - £52,000

C

£52,001 - £68,000

D

£68,001 - £88,000

E

£88,001 - £120,000

F

£120,001 - £160,000

G

£160,001 - £320,000

H

More than £320,000

You can see the various charges for the current financial year on the financial document available on this page.

 

Discounts

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25%.

Council of the Isles of Scilly allows the following discounts for the following circumstances:

  • 50% Local Discount - For up to 6 months where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished. This discount is applicable from 1 April 2013 and applies to the property not the council tax payer so if the previous liable payer left the property empty and unfurnished before you took over it is possible that a partial discount or no discount will be applied to your account.
  • 50% Local Discount - For up to 6 months where the property is unoccupied and unfurnished and major repairs or structural alterations are required, undergoing or recently completed to make the property habitable. Evidence such as photos, estimates and invoices will be required. Please contact us in advance for further advice.This discount is applicable from 1 April 2013 and restrictions may apply.  Any information you supply that results in us granting a 50% discount will be shared with the building control service. Building regulations apply to most building work so it is important to find out if you need to apply for permission. Although the information you supply to support your application for this discount is shared with the building control service, you will still need to make a separate application to the building control service for any works you are undertaking that require building regulation permission.
  • 25% Single Person Discount - Where a single adult has their sole or main residence within the chargeable dwelling.
  • 25% discount because the second or more adults are disregarded for council tax purposes.

People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a dwelling:

  • Full-time students
  • Full-time students under the age of 20
  • Student nurses
  • Youth Training trainees
  • Apprentices
  • Persons for whom Child Benefits is payable
  • Patients permanently resident in a hospital
  • Patients permanently resident in a home
  • Care workers (see explanation below)
  • Persons with a severe mental impairment
  • Persons in detention
  • Visiting Forces
  • Diplomats
  • Religious communities
To qualify as a care worker, you must provide care or support for at least 35 hours a week to another person who lives with you. This person must not be your partner, spouse or child aged under 18. The person being cared for must also be entitled to one of the following benefits:
  • Attendance Allowance
  • The highest or middle rate care component of disability living allowance
  • Increase in a constant attendance allowance
  • The appropriately increased rate of disablement pension

 

Disabled Reduction

This gives help towards your Council tax bill if the appropriate disability criteria are satisfied.

To qualify for a reduction your home must contain either:

  • a room which is not a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory and is mainly used for meeting the needs of a disabled person - for example, a room set aside for dialysis or other therapy
  • an extra bathroom or kitchen for use by the disabled person.
  • extra space inside the property to allow for use of a wheelchair.

The use of an additional room as a bedroom may qualify for the disabled reduction where there is a link between the applicant's disability and the use of the room as a bedroom, for example:

  • a disabled person who is unable to use their customary bedroom because of mobility problems or other impairments
  • members of a couple who have to use separate bedrooms because of interruptions to sleep caused by their disabling conditions
  • an extra bedroom needed for a carer
  • where use of a room as a bedroom prevents or changes the use and occupation of the room by the rest of the household

If a room within your household is being used as an additional bedroom and there is a significant link between the use of the room and the person's disability, please provide evidence of this when submitting your application form.

The person with the disability could be an adult or a child. The extra room or facility must be essential to enable them to live in the property or to prevent their health suffering or their disability becoming more severe.

If you qualify for this reduction your council tax charge will be reduced by one property band; for example, if you currently pay a band C charge your new charge will be reduced to a band B charge. If you live in a band A property your council tax will be reduced by a ninth (1/9) of the band D charge.

Annexe Reduction

There is a 50% reduction for council tax where people living in annexes with a separate council tax liability to the main property are related to the person liable to pay the council tax for the main property.

An annexe is a dwelling which forms part of a single property that includes at least one other dwelling. A person is to be regarded as the relative of another if a person.

  • is the spouse or civil partner of that person, or
  • is that person’s parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, great-uncle, great-aunt, great-nephew or great-niece, or
  • is that person’s great-great-grandparent, great-great-grandchild, great-great-uncle, great-great-aunt, great-great-nephew or great-great-niece; and

The reduction will not impact on other exemptions or discounts applied to the main property.

The reduction also applies if the annexe is not occupied separately but is being used as part of the main residence.

 

How to pay your council tax

There are a number of ways to pay your council tax, please refer to the back of your bill for more details, or contact us using the contact details above.

    

Recovery – unable to pay

If you are unable to pay your council tax

If you're unable to pay your Council Tax you should contact the Revenues section on 0300 1234 105 as soon as possible to discuss your personal circumstances. The longer you leave contacting us the bigger your arrears will become and the harder it will be to make a suitable payment arrangement to clear the debt.

If you're having financial difficulties Citizens Advice have money advisers who are available to discuss debt issues.

 

Council Tax Support

Council tax support helps people who have no income or a low income to pay their council tax.

We can’t backdate council tax support, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible. If you think you may qualify for council tax support, please contact us on 0300 1234 105.

Exempt Dwellings

Council tax exemptions are shown below. If you think you may be eligible or have any questions, please contact the revenues section using the contact details on this page or on your bill.

Class

Brief description of Class

Period of exemption

B

Unoccupied Dwelling Owned by a Charity           

Must be unoccupied for less than 6 months and was last occupied in furtherance of the objects of a charity.

0-6 months

D

Qualifying Person in Detention

Property must be unoccupied and have been the sole or main residence of the relevant person prior to detention elsewhere. Detention includes prison, hospital, etc if by Court Order or Act of Parliament.

Total period

E

Hospital/Care Home Patients

Unoccupied dwelling which was previously the sole or main residence of a qualifying person who now has his sole or main residence in a hospital, nursing home or care home

Total period

F

Property left vacant by deceased person

A dwelling which has remained unoccupied since the date of death of the deceased person who was formally liable as owner, leaseholder or tenant, and for up to 6 months after grant of probate, and no person is a qualifying person for the property in any other capacity other than as executor of the estate.

Total period before probate granted.

0-6 months after probate granted.

G

Occupation Prohibited by Law

Property where occupation is prohibited by law or action of a public authority

Total Period

H

Occupied by a member of the Clergy

Unoccupied dwelling held for occupation by a minister of religion.

Total Period

I

Property left empty by a person receiving care

Unoccupied property where the relevant person is living (not a hospital, care home) elsewhere for the purposes of receiving care by reason of old age, disability or illness.

Total Period

J

Property left empty by a person providing care

Unoccupied property where the relevant person is living elsewhere for the purpose of providing personal care for persons suffering from old age, disability or illness.

Total Period

K

Dwelling left empty by students

Unoccupied dwelling owned by a student, who is residing elsewhere to undertake their studies, which was last occupied as the sole or main residence of a student.

Total period

L

Repossessed

Unoccupied property where the liable person is the mortgagor and the mortgagee is in possession

Total Period

M

Halls of Residence and Hospitals run by Charities

Applies to halls of residence predominantly for the accommodation of students

Total Period

N

Dwellings Occupied by Students

Properties occupied by one or more residents, all of whom are students

Total Period

O

Ministry of Defence Properties

Applies to dwellings owned by Ministry of Defence for Armed Forces accommodation. May be occupied.

Total Period

P

Visiting Forces Accommodation

Applies to dwellings where at least one person liable for Council Tax is a member of a visiting force.

Total Period

Q

Dwelling left empty by a Trustee in Bankruptcy

Unoccupied property where liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy

Total period

R

Caravan Pitches and Moorings

A dwelling consisting of a pitch or mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or a boat

Total Period

S

Under 18 Years

Occupied only by persons under 18 Years of Age

Total Period

T

Unoccupied Annexe

Must be part of premises which include another dwelling (or situated in the grounds) and may not be let separately from that dwelling because of a planning restriction

Total Period

U

Severely Mentally Impaired

Dwelling occupied only by person/s who are severely mentally impaired

Total Period

V

Diplomats

Dwelling occupied by at least one person who is a Diplomat and is not a British Citizen

Total Period

W

Annexe occupied by a Dependant Relative

Dwellings where one of the occupiers are related to the residents of the rest of the property and are aged 65 or over, are severely mentally impaired or are permanently disabled

Total period

 

Empty Homes Premium

Since 1 April 2013 where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of 2 years or more a 50% empty homes premium is payable.  Annexes being used as part of the main dwelling, and dwellings not occupied by service personnel posted away from home may not be subject to this premium.

Second Homes

In 2013, the Government amended regulations to allow councils to reduce the level of discount awarded for empty properties which are furnished, often referred to as second homes.  Council of the Isles of Scilly reduced the 10% discount awarded to these properties to 0%.

Appeals

Appeals against the banding of your property

The valuation band of a property is determined by the Valuation Office (an agency of the Inland Revenue). If you wish to appeal against the banding you should contact the local Valuation Office. Additional information is also available on the Valuation Office website.

The grounds for appeal regarding the banding of your property are restricted to the following cases:

  • where you believe that the banding should be changed because there has been a material increase or decrease in the dwellings value.
  • where you start or stop using part of your dwelling to carry out a business, or the balance between domestic and business use changes.
  • Where the Valuation Officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer
  • Where you become the taxpayer in respect of a dwelling for the first time. (Your appeal must be made within six months of the date you occupy your new property but, if the same appeal has already been considered and determined by a Valuation Tribunal, it cannot be made again);

If you cannot agree with the Listing Officer on the proposed change to the Valuation List you have a further right of appeal to the Cornwall Valuation Tribunal. The Council or the Listing Officer of the Valuation Office Agency can supply further details concerning the tribunal.

Material Increase/Decrease in value

A material increase may result from building, engineering or other work carried out on the dwelling. In these cases revaluation does not take place until after a sale – so the person appealing would usually be the new owner or resident.

A material reduction result from the demolition of any part of the dwelling, any change in the physical state of the local area or an adaptation to make the dwelling suitable for the use by someone with a physical disability. In these cases revaluation should take place as soon as possible.

Appeals Against Liability

You may also appeal if you consider that you are not liable to pay Council Tax, for example, because you are not the resident or owner, or because the property is exempt; or because the Council has made a mistake in calculating your bill.

If you wish to appeal on these grounds you must first appeal to the Council, in writing, so that it may have the opportunity to reconsider the case. If you remain unhappy with the decision you have a further right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. The Council can supply further details concerning the tribunal.

Payment Pending Appeal:

Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold any payments in respect of Council Tax. If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund on any amounts that you have overpaid by.

For further details please contact the revenues section using the address shown on your bill or by using the details shown on this page.

Contact details

Revenues
PO Box 676
Truro
TR1 9EQ

Telephone: 0300 1234 105
Email: revenues@scilly.gov.uk

The Valuation Office
Council Tax West
Valuation Office Agency
Overline House
Blechynden Terrace
Southampton
SO15 1GW

Telephone: 03000 501501
Fax: 03000 502799
Email: ctwest@voa.gsi.gov.uk

The Valuation Tribunal
2nd Floor 
120 Leman Street
London
E1 8EU

Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Fax: 020 7481 4891
Email: vtwhitechapel@vts.gsi.gov.uk

Valuation tribunal website   www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk