Students and Council Taxes in Glasgow: All You Need to know




If you live in Glasgow, you are likely to have an obligation under the British council tax laws. However, there are specific guidelines that identify who qualifies as a student for the purpose of council tax.

It is important to understand who is recognized as a student in this regard to avoid any misapplication of the guidelines.

According to various sections of the council tax laws, there are two broad categories of students. These are full-time students and part-time students.


The Student’s Bill?



A student according to council tax guidelines is:


(i) Someone not yet 20 years old and is undergoing studies leading to the award of A-Level Education Certificate or having a 12 hours daytime study weekly under the Scottish Higher Certificate of Education. Any of these courses has to be for a duration of more than 3 months.


(ii) Someone working in an institution of learning that is British Council -registered as a foreign language assistant


(iii) Someone attending a course of study within the UK or European Union which-


(a) Is not less than an academic year or a calendar year
(b) Has a mandatory course component not less than 24 weeks in a calendar year
(c) Requires 21 hours of class work, work experience or study weekly within a term.

For anyone on full-time studies to whom paragraph (iii) above applies, the study period starts from the opening day of the course. In this case, council tax applies from the day you move into your accommodation, and not when you begin your studies.


You will lose your classification as a full-time student when your course ends and from this time, you will become liable to pay council tax. This does not affect your vacation periods during your study time.

For distance learning purposes, if you meet the specifications under paragraph (iii) above, you will be eligible to claim council tax exemption provided-


I. You are registered for a distance learning course, or

ii.You are enrolled in a recognized institution while writing your dissertation or thesis, or

iii.You are studying within EU full-time as a necessary requirement of a UK course, or

iv. You are on work placement in the UK while studying in an EU institution as a full-time student.



Who is a Full-time Student?


For council tax purposes, you may lose recognition as a full-time student if:


You live in England and Wales while undergoing a work placement whose tenure exceeds your time of study. The only exception here is if you are on an initial teacher training course, or:


i. You are attending a course that is condensed for a period less than a calendar or academic year, or

ii. You are repeating or re-sitting a course or any part thereof requiring less than 21 hours of study weekly

iii. You are working on your thesis or dissertation during a period that your college or institution does not enroll students

iv. You a Student Union or NUS sabbatical officer that is not enrolled for a full-time course

V. You have completed your doctorate under a doctorate extension program, or you are a postgraduate dentist or doctor.


In Glasgow, the payment of council tax is governed by clear rules that lay out what is expected of students and other adults. Many students are under the age of 18, and they are exempt from council tax payments.

Some questions about council tax will arise as a result of the kind of accommodation, and the number of persons living in the abode. For example, if you share the accommodation with a non-student, the council tax regulations also indicate what has to be done.

Some complications may also arise where a student has entered into an agreement with the landlord to pay the council tax bill on the property. If this is the case, what needs to be done is also suggested in this article.



The Frequently Asked Council Tax Questions



A number of questions, therefore, arises that needs to be examined closely. These are:



• What is the council tax?

• How much is council tax in Glasgow?

• Do students have to pay council tax?

• I'm a full-time student, do I have to pay council tax?

• I'm a part-time student, do I have to pay council tax?

• I live with a student; do I have to pay council tax?

• How do I get council tax student exemption?



What is the council tax?



Taxes are an everyday fact of life across the globe. In Glasgow, council tax is used to take care of the cost of local services. Firefighting services, police services, and garbage collection are some essential services that are paid for with tax proceeds.

Council tax is charged based on the valuation of your home and how many people live therein. Yet, not everyone is liable to pay this tax as some people qualify for a possible exemption.


How much is council tax in Glasgow?



To determine what you need to pay as council tax, your home has to be valued. The Glasgow City Assessor’s office undertakes this assessment.

The valuation band will, therefore, determine what you will pay. The band is between A and H, and the basis is determined at the time a property is built. For older properties, their respective values used were pegged on 1 April 1991.






Do students have to pay council tax?



Students who live in a flat, an apartment or a hall of residence that is already registered will not be assessed for council tax. A council tax exemption will be granted to them.


I'm a full-time student, do I have to pay council tax?



If you have a tenancy as a full-time student, you are entitled to an exemption from council tax. However, if your landlord receives a council tax assessment, a discount will be available in that instance.

Just in case you have signed a legal agreement with your property owner to pay the council tax, you may have to seek legal advice. This might be necessary to avoid possible eviction.


I'm a part-time student, do I have to pay council tax?


For part-time students, they are not entitled to council tax exemption, and they may only be granted a reduction. This also applies to students who are writing their thesis and for those on welfare support.


I live with a student; do I have to pay council tax?



If you live with individuals who do not qualify for council tax exemption, you might be able to get a single student discount of 25 percent. This will apply if one member does not qualify for the exemption and is a tax paying adult.


How do I get council tax student exemption?



Student abodes are registered in Glasgow, but in some cases, it is understandable that you might live in a non-registered apartment.

Those who live in a registered student accommodation are automatically exempt and do not have to fill any form.

For students living in a property that is not registered, an application form has to be filled to qualify for an exemption.


Just in case you have a question that is not answered here, you can consult the relevant guidelines for council tax reductions at GOV.UK website.


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