Reducing your bill

If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax there are many ways you may be able to reduce your bill. These include:

Council Tax Support

This is financial help towards your Council Tax bill. The amount of help you may get depends on your circumstances. View more information on Council Tax Support.


Single Person Discount (SPD)

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a property. If only one adult (aged 18 or over) lives in a property as their main home, the Council Tax bill may be reduced by 25%. This is called a single person discount. 

Apply online for a Single Person Discount

If you currently receive a Single Person Discount, you need to cancel your discount by letting us know if:

  • someone else (aged 18 or over) has moved into the property. You do not have to tell us if the person who has moved in will be living with you for less than 6 weeks.
  • a member of your household has turned 18 or will shortly be turning 18. If they are still in education you must still inform us when they turn 18.

Cancel a Single Person Discount online

If there is more than one adult living in the property but all of them except one is a disregarded person (see Disregarded Persons section) we may give a 25% discount. If all the adults living in the household are disregarded persons, we may give a discount of 50%.

Second homes

If the second home is needed under a contract of employment, we may give a discount of 50%.


From April 2014, a 50% discount became available for properties with self-contained annexes occupied by family members. Any qualifying annexe will have a 50% reduction. The liability on the main house remains unaffected.

Cancelling or changing a discount

If your bill shows that we have given you a discount and your circumstances change, you must inform us immediately. You must tell us about the change within 21 days or we may charge you a £70 penalty. To report a change, you can call our Customer Services section on 0161 912 2220.

Disregarded Persons

Depending on the number of adults resident at your address, we may be able to give you a discount if someone in your home is disregarded for any of the following reasons:

  • People in prison or certain types of legal detention centres
  • People who have a severe learning disability, mental illness or form of dementia
  • People aged 18 or over who Child Benefit is paid for
  • Students
  • The wife, husband or dependant of a student who is not a British Citizen and who cannot take paid employment or claim benefits
  • Apprentices
  • Student nurses (including student nurses on project 2000)
  • Youth training trainees
  • Patients who are staying in hospital over a long term
  • Adults who mainly live in a nursing home or residential home, and who are receiving care or treatment there
  • Certain school leavers under the age of 20 who have finished a course of education between 1 May and 31 October
  • Certain carers providing care or support to another person other than their husband, wife or partner, or their child aged under 18
  • People living in hostels - people with no fixed address
  • Members of religious communities
  • Members (or their dependants) of international headquarters and defence organisations
  • Foreign language assistants who are registered with Central Bureau
  • People associated with visiting forces
  • Diplomats and senior officials of international organisations, and their husbands or wives


A property may be exempt from Council Tax, usually if it is unoccupied, but also in some cases where all the occupiers are disregarded. Properties that are exempt from Council Tax fall into one or another of the following classes:

Details of  Exemptions
Class The property is: Exemption Period 


Unoccupied - owned by a charity

Exempt for up to six months


Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is in prison (except in cases of non-payment of fines or local taxes)

Until occupied


Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is now living permanently in a residential care home or nursing home

Until occupied


Unoccupied following the death of the person liable for the Council Tax

Exemption continues for up to six months after probate or letters of administration are granted, followed by a full charge


Unoccupied - empty where occupation is prevented by law

Until occupied


Unoccupied - held for a minister of religion

Until occupied


Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is living elsewhere to receive care

Until occupied


Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is living elsewhere to provide care

Until occupied


Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is a student living elsewhere to study

Until occupied


Unoccupied - repossessed by a mortgage lender

Until possession relinquished


Unoccupied - the trustee is in bankruptcy

Until property situation changes


Unoccupied - caravan pitch or boat mooring

Until property situation changes


Unoccupied annexe

Until property situation changes


Occupied - student hall of residence

Until property situation changes


Occupied - by full-time students only

Until property situation changes


Occupied - by UK armed forces

Until property situation changes


Occupied - By visiting service personnel

Until property situation changes


Occupied - by people aged under 18

Until property situation changes


Occupied - by people who have a severe learning disability, mental illness or form of dementia who would otherwise have to pay council tax

Until property situation changes


Occupied - by at least one foreign diplomat or specified member of an international organisation

Until property situation changes


Occupied annexe. A 'granny flat' lived in by a dependent relative of a person who lives in the main home

Until property situation changes

Apply for an Exemption

You can apply online for any of the exemptions if you have an OpenPortal account. You can register for an OpenPortal account online.

Apply for an Exemption on OpenPortal

If you are applying online for an exemption because all occupiers of the property have a Severe Mental Impairment (Class U) then you will also need to download a Doctors Certificate to take to your GP for them to complete.

If you are unable to apply online you can email us at Include the following information:

  • Which exemption you are applying for
  • Your name and the address of the property concerned
  • Your Council Tax reference number (if known)
  • The date on which you would like the exemption to start
  • For Severe Mental Impairment (Class U) you will need to download the SMI form which also needs to be completed by your doctor.

Disabled relief

In certain circumstances, we will reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay if any member of your household is severely and permanently disabled.

To qualify for this reduction, the property must have at least one of the following features:

  • A room other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet which the disabled person uses and needs
  • An extra bathroom or kitchen needed for the disabled person
  • Enough floor space indoors to allow the disabled person to use a wheelchair

If you qualify for disabled reduction, we will give you a discount in your banding. The Disabled Reduction Scheme applies to properties in all valuation bands A to H. 

Apply online for a Disabled Person Reduction

If you are unable to apply online you can contact our Customer Services section on 0161 912 2220.

Discretionary discounts

We may consider a reduction in any circumstances it determines doing so would be in the interest of the Borough or extenuating circumstances exist. Discretionary discounts are currently awarded to:

  • Care Leavers where the Council is their Corporate Parent. This does not need to be applied for, it is automatically awarded upon receipt of notification from social workers.
  • Special Constables who serve in the borough. To apply for this download a Special Constable Discount Application Form.

For more information on the legislation governing this area and Trafford's policies view the Discretionary Council Tax Discount explanatory leaflet.