Council Tax Exemption

As a student you may be exempt from paying Council Tax. This page outlines who is eligible for exemption and how to apply.

Who Has to Pay

Council Tax is charged by local authorities to help pay for certain public services and is based on the value of the property in which you live.

Where you are a full time student you do not have to pay Council Tax. You will be classified as a full-time student where your course:

  • lasts at least one academic year; and
  • requires attendance for at least 24 weeks per year; and
  • involves at least 21 hours of study, classes or work experience per week during term time

You do have to pay Council Tax where you:

  • are on a short course (including some ELTC students)
  • are a part-time student (you may be able to claim for Council Tax Benefit)
  • are a postgraduate taught student awaiting results after your course end date

Where you are on a part-time course and under 20 years old, please visit SSiD to discuss your eligibility for exemption.

Visit SSiD

Postgraduate Research Students

Where you are a full-time postgraduate research student and have submitted your thesis, you will normally be exempt until you are awarded your degree.

Your eligibility for exemption may vary depending on your specific circumstances. Please visit the page below or contact SSiD if you have any further questions.

Contact SSiD

How to Apply for Exemption

Where you are exempt from paying council tax you must provide the council with a Council Tax Exemption Certificate.

You can either download and print your Council Tax Exemption Certificate from MUSE or collect it in person from SSiD.

Self Service via MUSE

  1. Log onto MUSE and select the 'My Services' Link.
  2. Select 'View All Services'.
  3. Scroll down to C and select ‘Council Tax Exemption Letter’.

Where you are a full-time student in the final year of your MPhil or PhD, you must visit SSiD in person to obtain your exemption certificate. 

Visit SSiD

Where you are studying away from Sheffield and cannot visit SSiD, you can request your Council Tax exemption certificate via the form below.

Request Council Tax Exemption Certificate

Once you have received your certificate, you can apply for exemption online, in person or by post. Please visit the website below for more information.

Apply for Council Tax Exemption (GOV.UK)

International Students

Where you meet the above criteria of a full-time student you will be eligible for Council Tax exemption.

Erasmus/Study Abroad Students

Where you are studying in Sheffield for one semester, the Council will assess your situation on a case-by-case basis. You must provide the Council with:

  • a document confirming your student status at your home University
  • a Certificate of Student Status proving your attendance at the University of Sheffield

You can obtain a Certificate of Student Status in person from SSiD or request one via the form below.

Visit SSiD

Request Certificate of Student Status

An example of what the Council will need from your home University can be found below.

ELTC Students

Where you are studying a short course or multiple short courses at the ELTC (e.g. summer school pre-sessional English) you may be able to claim council tax exemption where:

  • you are continuing your studies after your language course ends; and
  • there is no gap between finishing your language course and starting your future studies; and
  • the combined length of both courses is more than one academic year

Where your studies meet these criteria, the council will assess your situation on a case-by-case basis. You must provide the council with the following:

  • an offer letter for your degree course
  • a Certificate of Student Status proving your registration on the ELTC course

You can obtain a Certificate of Student Status in person from SSiD or request one via the form below.

Visit SSiD

Request Certificate of Student Status

Dependants of International Students

Where your spouse has moved to the UK with you, they will be exempt from paying Council Tax if:

  • they are not a British citizen or an EU national
  • they are not permitted to work or claim benefits

Where they are an EU national, the property will usually attract Council Tax with a discount.

To prove your exemption, you must provide the Council with your Council Tax Exemption Certificate and a copy of your spouse’s passport and visa.

Student Carers

Where you are a full-time student with caring responsibilities and the only other adult in the property is disabled or severely mentally impaired, the whole property may be exempt.

You may qualify for a Council Tax reduction where there are other adults living in the house.

Where you have left your own property empty in order to live with and care for someone, you may not have to pay council tax on your empty property.

For further information, please visit the Sheffield City Council website.

Problems and Queries

Where you experience any problems with your Council Tax, please contact Sheffield City Council in the first instance.

Where you require any further advice, please contact the Student Advice Centre.