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Advice & Guides
Financial Support

Do Foster Carers Have to Pay Council Tax?

With people struggling to make ends meet throughout the country, potential foster carers are understandably concerned about the impact of fostering on their finances. As a result, one of the most common questions we are asked at Compass is, "Do foster carers pay council tax?" This article aims to answer this question and provide clarity on council tax for foster carers, including whether council tax exemptions for foster carers exist or if council tax reductions are available.
Understanding Council Tax

Council Tax is a local taxation system that is used to help pay for local services in the UK including policing, rubbish collection and public transport. Each household is required to pay Council Tax, which is calculated based on the value of the property as well as the number of occupants.

Council Tax for Foster Carers

Foster carers are subject to the same Council Tax rules as any other household in the UK. However, there are specific considerations and exemptions that could potentially apply to foster carers. These may result in council tax reductions or even free council tax for foster carers in certain areas.

 

Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

Foster carers might be eligible for discounts or exemptions, pending an analysis of their individual circumstances. Here are some possible discounts that are worth considering:

Single Person Discount

If you are a single person fostering a child, you may be eligible for the single person discount, which reduces your Council Tax bill by 25%.

Second Adult Rebate

If another adult lives with you, as long as they are currently on a low income, you might be eligible for a second adult rebate.

Council Tax Reduction

Foster carers on a low income might also qualify for Council Tax Reduction, a significant means-tested benefit that can lower or eliminate the amount of Council Tax you have to pay.

You might be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction if you:

  • Receive Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Receive Guaranteed Credit or Pension Credit.
  • Are currently on a low income.

It is important to note that your fostering allowance is not considered income for this purpose and will thus not affect your eligibility for a Council Tax Reduction.

How to Apply for Council Tax Discounts

To determine if you qualify for any Council Tax discounts or exemptions as a foster carer, you should follow the steps outlined below:

1. Contact Your Local Authority

Reach out to your local council’s Council Tax office. Some local authorities in the UK have specific policies in place to support foster carers. It’s essential to check with your local authority to understand the benefits and support that are available in your area.

2. Provide Necessary Documentation

Be prepared to provide proof of your fostering status and any other required documentation. This may include a fostering agreement or even a letter from the fostering agency you are working with.

3. Submit the Required Forms

Complete any application forms provided by your local authority. Make sure to include all necessary information to make a strong case for a discount or exemption.

 

So, do foster carers pay Council Tax? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Nevertheless, there are potential available discounts and exemptions that can help relieve the financial burden. Compass Fostering understands the financial challenges that many carers are facing today. This is why we offer a generous allowance that not only can help you put your worries to rest, but will allow you to focus on providing the best possible care.

For more detailed information and personalised advice, please get in touch with our friendly team or contact your local authority directly.

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