Manchester City Council

Council Tax: Students must act now to avoid unwelcome charges

Students are being encouraged to claim their exemption from council tax

Manchester City Council and its partners are working to raise awareness in students of their need to register with the council if they wish to claim an exemption from paying council tax.

Council tax is a local tax on domestic property that is collected by the council.

Revenue collected through council tax is vital as it helps to pay for council services. In addition it also contributes to other public services including the police and fire service.

Some people, including full-time students can claim an exemption so they do not have to pay council tax.

Those eligible for a student exemption from council tax include full time students, postgraduate students, students under 20 and undertaking a qualifying course, foreign language assistants, visiting academics, or a spouse or dependent of a student.

Many students mistakenly believe that they do not have to claim an exemption from council tax. But ignoring letters from the council tax service could lead to them having to pay unwelcome charges.

The council is obliged to collect council tax unless proof of an exemption is provided to them.  

If a notice to pay council tax is ignored, the council will ask the Magistrates’ court for a Liability Order which is a demand to pay the outstanding balance plus £82 costs.

If this demand is also ignored an enforcement agency will be employed to recover the outstanding balance and further costs will be incurred.

Students who neglect to claim the exemption from the council promptly will be able to claim their student exemption at a later date but will have to pay any court costs and enforcement charges incurred.

Councillor John Flanagan, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources, said: “I’d urge students not to delay in claiming their exemption from council tax, it’s quick, easy and can all be done online.”

“We’re pleased to welcome thousands of students to Manchester each year and know there are many exciting distractions in our city but if you ignore letters from the council tax service you may face some unwelcome charges.”

Further Information about council tax, including how update your details and claim exemptions, can be found online at: www.manchester.gov.uk/counciltax

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