How your council tax is calculated

The full council tax bill assumes that there are two adults (over the age of 18) living in a property. The bill does not increase if more than two adults live at the same address.

  • View your account online

    • You can see how your council tax bill has been calculated and your outstanding balance. You can also:

      » check the payments you have made and when any future payments are due
      » set up or amend a direct debit
      » view or print your current and previous bills

      View your account online

      The website is available 24 hours a day and it is updated regularly, so you can see up to date information and check the progress of changes you have told us about. You will need to register but you will only need to do this once.  

  • Change the way you pay your instalments

    • Annual council tax bills in Bolton are usually paid by 10 monthly instalments from April to January. However, you can ask for your instalments to be spread over 12 months from April to March.

      You can also:

      » choose to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly
      » pay by direct debit, standing order, cash, cheque, debit or credit card

      If you wish to change how you pay your council tax, complete the online form.

      Change the way you pay  

  • Click on the types of discounts below for further information...

    Single person discount

    • Apply online for a single person discount

      The single person discount is 25% off your total council tax bill. You can claim single person discount if: 

      » you are the only adult aged 18 years or over resident in the property, or
      » the other adults living in the property are not counted for council tax purposes

      If someone else in your household is working away from home or taking extended holidays, this is not usually enough to qualify you for a single person discount. 

      Apply for single person discount online 

      If your circumstances change

      You must tell us, within 21 days, about any change in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement to single person discount.  If you don't, you could be charged a penalty of £70.

      Examples of changes that may effect your discount:

      » You have stopped being the only adult living the property
      » Someone in the property is no longer considered as a person who is not counted for council tax purposes

      Cancel single person discount online 

  • Discounts for adults who are not counted in calculating council tax

    • You may be entitled to a reduction on your council tax bill if one or more of the adults in your house are not counted:

    • Full time students and student nurses 

      Full time student

      If someone in your household is a full time student, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      To be considered as a full time student, you must be enrolled on a course with a prescribed educational establishment. This may be anywhere in the European Union provided it is solely or mainly for the purpose of providing further or higher education. 

      20 years old or over - You will be considered a full-time student if:

      » you are enrolled to attend a course of education lasting for at least one academic or calendar year
      » you attend for at least 24 weeks out of the year
      » study for at least 21 hours per week during term time
      (hours spent studying and working at home or with an employer on a work placement should count towards the definition of being a full time student, provided you are undertaking activities which form part of the course)

      Under 20 years old - You will be considered a full-time student if:

      » your course leads to a qualification up to but not above A-Level standard or equivalent
      » the course lasts for more than three months
      » study for more than 12 hours per week  

      Online application form

      Student nurses

      If someone in your household is a student nurse, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      A student nurse is someone who is taking a course which leads to a registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979.  Student nurses on Project 2000 are considered to be full-time students.

      For nurses a prescribed educational establishment is a:

      » College of nursing and midwifery; or
      » College of health

       Online application form

    • Severely mentally Impaired  

      If someone in your household is severely mentally impaired, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      Someone who is considered to be severely mentally impaired has a severe impairment to intelligence and social functioning (however caused). It must be a permanent impairment.  This may be due to a degenerative brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, a stroke or other forms of dementia.

      To be considered as severely mentally impaired, the person concerned must have a certificate of confirmation from a registered medical practitioner. Doctors issue these certificates free of charge.

      In addition, to qualify for the discount, the person must be entitled to one of the following benefits:

      » Short-term or long-term Incapacity Benefit
      » Employment and Support Allowance
      » Attendance Allowance
      » Severe Disablement Allowance
      » The highest or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
      » Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component at either standard or enhanced rate
      » An increase in Disablement Pension for constant attendance
      » The disability element of Working Tax Credit
      » Unemployability Supplement (abolished in 1987 but existing claimants remain entitled)
      » Constant Attendance Allowance payable under the Industrial Injuries or War Pension schemes
      » Armed Forces Independence Payment
      » Income Support which includes a disability premium because of incapacity for work
      » a person who would have qualified for one of the above benefits (but is excluded by age) still qualifies for the discount

      To qualify for a discount you must provide proof of the person’s benefits.

      Online application form

    • Apprentices

      If someone in your household is an apprentice, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      For council tax purposes, an apprentice is someone who is:

      » employed for the purpose of learning a trade, business, profession, office or employment;
      » undertaking a programme of training leading to an accredited qualification recognised by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ); and
      » employed at a salary, allowance or both, which in total, is less than they would receive if they had obtained the qualification, and no more than £195 per week.
       
      Online application form

    • Carers and care workers

      Carers

      If someone in your household is a carer, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      If you are caring for a spouse, partner or a person under the age of 18 you will not qualify as a carer for the purposes of council tax and will not be eligible for this discount.

      For council tax purposes, a carer must:

      » live in the same property as the person you are caring for, and
      » provide care for at least 35 hours per week

      There is no limit to the number of people that can be considered carers in a property e.g. if two people are caring for an individual both carers could be disregarded provided they each fulfil the above criteria.

      The carer must provide care for a person who is entitled to one of the following benefits:

      » The middle or highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance 
      » Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component at either standard or enhanced rate
      » Attendance Allowance
      » Increase in Constant Attendance Allowance under the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions scheme 
      » Armed Forces Independence Payment
      » Highest rate of Constant Attendance Allowance payable on top of full rate Disablement Benefit paid for an industrial injury

      To qualify for a discount you must provide proof of the person’s benefits.

      Online application form

      Care workers

      You are not counted for council tax purposes if you voluntarily care for an elderly person or a person with a disability.  

      For council tax purposes, a care worker must: 

      » be paid no more than £35 per week
      » live where the care is given or in premises provided by your employer
      » provide care on behalf of a local authority or charity, or be employed by the person you care for

      Online application form

    • Nursing homes, hospitals and residential care homes

      People who remain permanently in a hospital, nursing home or care home as their main residence will not be counted for council tax purposes.

      The person must have moved straight from the property to the hospital, nursing home or care home.

      If you are a resident in the above for a short time and have a home elsewhere you will be returning to, you will not be eligible for this discount.

      Online application form

    • School/College leavers

      If someone in your household is a school leaver, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      For council tax purposes, a school leaver is someone:

      » under 20 years old; and
      » who has left school/college between 1st May and 31st October in any year, after undertaking a qualifying course of education, no higher than A-level or equivalent.

      The school leaver will be disregarded until 1st November in that year.

      Online application form

    • YT trainee

      If someone in your household is a youth trainee, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax. 

      For council tax purposes, a youth training trainee is: 

      » undertaking training according to an individual training plan under the Employment and Training Act 1973, funded by the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency; and
      » under 25 years of age

      You are regarded as undertaking training from the day on which the course or programme begins to the day you complete, abandon or are dismissed from it.

      If you are in a People on Employment Training Scheme, you are not classed as being a youth training trainee. 

      Online application form

    • Detained by order of a court

      If someone in your household is detained by order of a court, they are not counted for the purposes of council tax.

      For council tax purposes, 'detention' means that someone is:

      » being held in a prison, a hospital or any other place, under the orders of a British court
      » being held under the Immigration Act
      » being held under the Mental Health Act
      » imprisoned, detained or in custody under the Armed Forces Act
      » a prisoner on temporary release

      You can't claim a discount or exemption if: 

      » the person is in police custody before his/her first court appearance
      » the person is in prison for non-payment of fines or non-payment of council tax

      Online application form

  • Reduction for disabled people

    • To be eligible for this reduction your home needs to have special facilities which are used by the disabled person who lives in the property:

      Your home must have at least one of the following:

      » a room which is mainly used by the disabled person
      » an additional bathroom or kitchen used by the disabled person
      » space inside the home to allow for the use of a wheelchair, if a wheelchair is used by the disabled person

      The reduction is the equivalent of your band being reduced to the band below or by a sixth if your property is in Band A.

      Online application form

  • Annexes

    • Family annexe discount

      You may be able to claim a 50% discount on your council tax for an annexe which is being used by you (the occupier of the main building), or a member of your family, who is not dependant on you.

      The discount can be given whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.  

      You can't claim this discount if your annexe is occupied by someone who is not a member of your family.

      If you think you may be entitled to this discount, contact our council tax section.

      Annexes being used by a dependant relative

      If a dependant relative lives in an annexe which forms part of your main home, the annexe is exempt from council tax.
       
      A 'dependant relative' is someone who is either:
       
      » aged 65+
      » severely mentally impaired
      » substantially and permanently disabled

      If the annexe is now occupied by a dependant relative and you would like to apply for the exemption, complete the change of address form.

      Online change of address form

      Unoccupied annexes due to planning restrictions

      If an annexe becomes unoccupied and cannot be let separately due to planning restrictions, it is exempt from council tax.

      If the annexe is now unoccupied and you would like to apply for the exemption, complete the change of address form.

      Online change of address form 

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

    • There is no discount on properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. This means that a full 100% charge will be payable. 

      When properties have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 2 years then a 50% premium will be payable on top of the full charge. This means that a 150% charge will be payable.

      However, the 50% premium should not be charged on any property that:

      » would be the sole or main residence of service personnel who are posted away from home; or

      » is an annex to a property that is being used as part of the main residence of the main dwelling.

      If your property falls into either of these categories, please contact us so that we can cancel any premium that you have been charged.

      You can also find more information and advice on how to bring your empty property back into use on the empty residential properties page.

      Substantially unfurnished

      There is no definition of 'substantially unfurnished’ within council tax legislation therefore each council has its own criteria regarding what is acceptable. We have taken it to mean sufficient furniture has been removed to leave the property incapable of occupation. As a minimum we would expect the following to be removed:

      » beds
      » chairs/sofa
      » tables
      » wardrobes
      » cabinets
      » televisions
      » stereos
      » personal effects

      We do not class curtains, carpets, fitted white goods (fridges, freezers, and washing machines) or fitted wardrobes as furniture 

  • Properties undergoing or requiring major repairs or alterations

    • From 1st April 2016 there will be no discount on properties that are unoccupied, unfurnished and require or are undergoing major repairs or structural alterations. 

      You can find more information and advice on how to bring your empty property back into use on the empty residential properties page.

  • Unoccupied properties which are exempt

    • Properties that are empty for certain reasons can be exempt from Council Tax, these properties are:

      » Owned by a charity are exempt for up to six months from vacation providing that when they were last occupied they were being used for the purpose of the charity.

      » Left empty by someone who is a permanent resident in a hospital, residential or nursing home or in prison/detention

      » Left empty by someone who has left to receive care from another person

      » Left empty by someone providing care for another person

      » Left empty that were last occupied by a full-time student who is the owner or leaseholder

      » Left empty because someone has died are exempt where probate has yet to be made and for up to six months after probate has been granted

      » Left empty because they have been repossessed or are the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy

      » Left empty because occupation is not allowed by law

      » Waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion

      If the property is now unoccupied and you would like to apply for an exemption, complete the change of address form.

      Online change of address form 

  • Discretionary reductions to council tax

    • Extra help with your council tax may be available if:

      » You are affected by the changes made to council tax discounts and
      exemptions for unoccupied properties introduced from April 2013 onwards, or

      » Your council tax support does not meet your full council tax liability

    • The scheme is purely discretionary; there is no statutory right to a reduction in council tax. However, if you disagree with our decision, you (or someone else representing you) may request a review. This should be submitted in writing within one calendar month of the original decision. A different officer will look at the original decision and the additional evidence supplied.

    • Discretionary help with empty property charges

      This only applies if you have been affected by the changes made to council tax discounts and exemptions from April 2013 onwards. You must also show you need additional financial help.

      Apply for help with empty property charges 

    • Discretionary help with council tax for the property you live in

      If you need extra help to pay your council tax, you can make a claim for a discretionary council tax reduction. You must show you need additional financial help.

      Apply for help with your council tax

    •  

            Council Tax

            PO Box 32

            Bolton

            BL1 1RX

            Telephone 01204 331599
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