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  1. #1
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    Question on the council tax

    Hi everyone,

    My mother eventually succumbed to her alzheimers and is now in a very nice care home and has been for the last year.
    However, I now need some guidance regarding the council tax.
    I own the house jointly, 3-way, with my mum and brother but I now live there on my own.

    My mother received council tax relief, but despite advising the council that she now resides in a care home and confirming this on the census form, I have still recived a bill addressed to my mother, inclusive of rebate.

    Is this correct and should I proceed with payment based on this ???
    Is she still deemed as head of the household ??

    I don`t want to get into trouble, so any advice greatly received !!!

    Thankyou
    mickH

  2. #2
    Hello Mick. Welcome to Talking Point

    If you are living there alone, you will be entitled to (I think) a 20-25% reduction. They don't actually say that in writing.. this is how they tell it and living alone is not in their list of discounts..... clever eh?

    Who can get Council Tax discounts?

    A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home. Certain groups of people don't pay Council Tax. So, if you live with any of them, they won’t be counted as an adult for Council Tax purposes.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndC...ax/DG_10037422

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mickH View Post
    Hi everyone,

    My mother eventually succumbed to her alzheimers and is now in a very nice care home and has been for the last year.
    However, I now need some guidance regarding the council tax.
    I own the house jointly, 3-way, with my mum and brother but I now live there on my own.

    My mother received council tax relief, but despite advising the council that she now resides in a care home and confirming this on the census form, I have still recived a bill addressed to my mother, inclusive of rebate.

    Is this correct and should I proceed with payment based on this ???
    Is she still deemed as head of the household ??

    I don`t want to get into trouble, so any advice greatly received !!!

    Thankyou
    mickH
    It's true that if it was just your mother's home and she was in a care home, her own home would still be entitled to be rebated for council tax. I don't know, though, what happens if it is jointly owned. Perhaps the council wouldn't know? (!!)

  4. #4
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    You should find the info you need at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndC...ax/DG_10037422

    You still pay Council Tax on empty homes (at a reduced rate), and as the owner your Mom is still liable. If the house is being occupied (rented out) then (I think) the tenants are liable unless it is included in the rent. If it occupied but not rented out (i.e. you live there) then whoever is living there is liable.

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by simonphillips View Post
    You should find the info you need at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndC...ax/DG_10037422

    You still pay Council Tax on empty homes (at a reduced rate), and as the owner your Mom is still liable. If the house is being occupied (rented out) then (I think) the tenants are liable unless it is included in the rent. If it occupied but not rented out (i.e. you live there) then whoever is living there is liable.

    Hope this helps
    But, am I right? you don't pay council tax at all once a person is mentally incapacitated...

  6. #6
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    Post

    From my understanding the person who is incapacitated doesn't pay council tax BUT anyone else in the household who would be due still pays. So
    - couple (plus others) in a house pay full amount
    - single person in house pays full amount -25% (single person discount)
    - couple in house where one person is incapacitated pays as if a single person (I think that is how it works)
    - single person in house who is incapacitated doesn't pay anything (assuming the discount for incapacity is the full amount)

    So in MickH's case above I would guess when Mum was at home they paid as if a single person. Now Mum is in a care home the bill is still for a single person (no idea why Mum's name is still on it though) but knowing council accounts departments I would phone up and double check!

  7. #7
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    When someone has AD or similar they do not pay council tax. However your mother does not live there anymore and you do (if I have read it right do). Single occupancy gives a 25% discount regardless I think you will find.

    You would need to check with your local council. I would do it sooner rather than later if you are liable minus now for council tax less the 25%. You really dont want to have it come back and bite you should the entire discount is not applicable to you.

    Hope this helps.


    Quote Originally Posted by bunnies View Post
    But, am I right? you don't pay council tax at all once a person is mentally incapacitated...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnies View Post
    But, am I right? you don't pay council tax at all once a person is mentally incapacitated...
    No. that's not correct. If you're mentally incapacitated you may be disregarded when the occupancy of the property is determined.

    Council tax is based on two things: the band the property is in, and the number of adults living in it. Normally:

    If the property is unoccupied, no tax is due
    If one adult lives there, then a 25% discount is applied
    If more than one adult lives there, then the full amount is payable

    However, it is possible to have some adult occupants exempted from the "head count"

    These are called disregards

    This means that if (for example) someone living on their own is mentally incapacitated, the property is regarded as occupants=0 for council tax purposes, ie, there is none payable

    If two people live there, and one is disregarded, the council tax is reduced to the single person rate

    If more than two live there, then whilst the occupancy is reduced, council tax is not, because the full rate is payable for all properties with two or more liable persons

    Note that liability to pay Council Tax lies fully with any of the owners if the property has more than one.

    There is normally one owner designated as the "person responsible for the payment of council tax" and that is who the bills are sent to. They do not have to be actually living in it (and of course, if they aren't, then they don't count towards the occupancy) and they do not have to be a majority owner in a joint-ownership arrangement

    In the case of the original question: your mother may still be billed since it is likely she is the person still recorded as the one responsible for payment of council tax. If you are the only resident, then the property should be accorded the discount applied to single-occupancy properties.

    I am not sure what you mean by concil tax relief. If it means your mother was discounted as an occupant due to mental incapacity then this is no longer correct as she no longer lives there. It should not affect the bill, though, since she is now not occupying it at all. It would be wise to inform the council (in writing) of the change since whilst it does not affect the final bill, it affects the way the bill is calculated. In other words, it seems as though the bill is being worked out as though your mother lived there but is disregarded, whereas it should show the property is now solely occupied by you.

    If, however, you are referring to some form of benefit payment, then you need to inform the council with some urgency since such benefits apply to the person receiving them, not the property. Council Tax Benefit, for example.

    Probably the easiest thing to do is to notify the council that you, not your mother, are now responsible for council tax payment as whilst she remains a part-owner she no longer lives there. Unless, of course, you mother will continue to pay the bill (this is still possible, the main thing the council is interested in is that the bill gets paid, not by whom)

    If you do notify the council of anything, do it in writing, send it recorded mail and keep a photocopy!

    This means you always have conclusive evidence that you have followed the correct procedure and that ****-ups, all too common, cannot be blamed on you!

    Call the council and see what they advise. It's frequently the case that everything is departmentalised, so telling one department can leave another in blissful ignorance. You've told the council about your mother but I suspect the council tax department didn;t get the message

    Note that merely being diagnosed with, say, Alzheimer's, does not get you the disregard automatically. The rules says you have to be "severely mentally impaired" and the usual test they apply is that the person does not understand what the tax is for or why it is paid.

    You get the disregard by appying for it, and it usually requires written confirmation of the impairment from a doctor (usually a GP)
    Last edited by Nebiroth; 27-03-2012 at 01:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nebiroth View Post
    No. that's not correct. If you're mentally incapacitated you may be disregarded when the occupancy of the property is determined.
    Yes, I was referring person with the incapacity. Clearly this rebate does not apply to someone else in the house, if the council are aware of this arrangement, and now you have explained all this very clearly!

  10. #10
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    Live-in carers can also be disregarded but not if they are close relatives...

    Unfortunately.

  11. #11
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    Hello Mick and welcome to TP. This is a broadly similar situation to us but the difference is that Mum owned the house and I just lived there. When Mum went into care the CT was put into my name and I got the normal single resident discount.

    What I am wondering ,because your house is jointly owned, and I presume your brother never lived there, is this. Your old bill may have shown your Mum as disregarded because of severe mental impairment and the bill was 75% so that you were effectively a single resident. Now your Mum may have a different disregard, the class (and I can't remember all the letters for the different classes) which means she is disregarded because of being in a home. Do you see what I am getting at , just a technical difference as to what class of disregard, but the same end result.

    There is a legal "hierarchy" for establishing who is liable for CT at a property.

    I hope this may help.

    Mary
    Mary

    Daughter and former carer
    Now doing voluntary work at local Carers centre

  12. #12
    I'm applying for a disregard for my dad.. I live with him as his carer.. which means I am also disregarded. This would not apply if I was caring for a spouse or a child.

    I pay my council tax at my home address, or should I say I don't pay it, as hubby and I are on Pension Credit which entitles us to a NIL contribution.

  13. #13
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    Note that the Carer disregard is contingent on the person being cared for receiving any of the following:

    Higher rate Attendance Allowance

    Highest rate of Disability Living Allowance

    Highest rate Disablement Pension

    Increased Constant Attendance Allowance

    Unfortunately this neatly removed many informal carers from the potential discount, myself included, as mymum is on lower rate AA

  14. #14
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    Council Tax

    Yes you are liable for Council Tax (unless you have exemption in your own right)

    Just remind them that your mother no longer lives there and you do

    They will get round to it

    Best wishes

    D

 

 

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