Do Apprentices Pay Council Tax?

Wondering whether apprentices pay council tax in the UK? We discuss whether apprentices are entitled to a council tax discount or exemption...

Written byHolly Barrow
Published on
Read time5 min read

If you’re thinking of applying for an apprenticeship or you’re currently an apprentice, you may be wondering how your salary impacts the likes of tax, council tax and National Insurance contributions. 

We’re here to help shed some light on whether apprentices pay council tax and whether you’re eligible for any council tax reductions or exemptions… 

Make sure to check out our other guides on all things apprenticeships, including ‘Do Apprentices Pay Tax?’ for information on paying tax and NI contributions. 


What is council tax?

Council tax is an annual fee your local council charges you for the services it provides, such as rubbish collection, libraries, road maintenance, parks and leisure facilities. 

Whereas tax and NI contributions are automatically deducted from your salary by your employer (unless you’re self-employed), you will organise the payment of council tax yourself. 

This usually involves 10 monthly instalments, with two months without payments. 

Council tax costs vary depending on the value of your property. Typically, in England and Scotland the council tax band you’re in is based on how much your property was worth in 1991, or 2003 for those in Wales. 

There are 8 council tax bands in total in England, with band ‘A’ being the lowest charge and band ‘H’ being the highest. 

Who has to pay council tax?


Depending on your age and living circumstances, you may not have to pay council tax as an apprentice. 

Generally speaking, if you’re 18 or over you will be expected to pay council tax - but there are exceptions to this. 

A council tax bill is based on at least two adults living together, however there are discounts and exemptions available for those in specific circumstances. 

Who is exempt from paying council tax?

You won’t have to pay council tax if you’re:

  • Under 18 years old

  • On a certain apprentice scheme

  • 18 or 19 years old and in full-time education

  • A full-time student at college or university

  • Under 25 years old and receiving funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency

  • A student nurse

  • A foreign language assistant registered with the British Council

  • Severely mentally impaired

  • A live-in carer for someone who is not your partner, spouse, or child under 18

  • A diplomat

You’ll also be eligible for a council tax discount of 25% if you’re living alone as a single person, or 50% if everyone else living in your household is classed as ‘disregarded’ (i.e. those who meet the criteria above). 

Do apprentices pay council tax?

apprentices (1)

As an apprentice, you may be wondering which apprentice schemes are exempt from paying council tax… 

If you or someone who lives with you is an apprentice or youth trainee, you could be entitled to a 25% council tax discount, and if you live in a household where all of the occupants (including yourself) are apprentices and/or trainees, you may be entitled to a 50% discount. 

Or as an apprentice you may be entirely exempt from paying council tax! 

To find out if you’re eligible for a council tax exemption, you must get a declaration from your employer stating that you won’t be paid more than £195 a week and that your training will lead to a qualification accredited by a body recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) or the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SVEC). 

How do apprentices apply for a council tax exemption?

To find out whether you’re entitled to a council tax exemption or discount, you should apply by downloading your local council’s Council Tax Apprentice Disregard form, filling in the form and submitting this along with copies of two monthly, five weekly, or three fortnightly wage slips as evidence of salary.

Your employer will need to help you with this to declare that you earn beneath the salary threshold and are working towards the relevant recognised qualifications. 

It’s important to note that your household may only receive a council tax discount, not a complete exemption. 

How to save money as an apprentice


Looking for ways to save as much money as possible as an apprentice?

TOTUM Apprentice is the only discount card for apprentices, giving you access to hundreds of discounts, deals and offers from big brands and local independents. From travel and fashion to food and entertainment, you'll make huge savings with TOTUM.

You'll even get a FREE 12-month tastecard membership for every year's TOTUM membership purchased! This means enjoying money off at thousands of restaurants across the country, as well as saving on cinema tickets, days out, pizza delivery and much more.

For more tips and tricks on all things apprenticeships, check out our other guides:

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Join TOTUM Student for FREE to access hundreds of student discounts on big-name brands like ASOS, Apple, MyProtein, boohoo, Samsung, and more!

Sign up for FREE, download the TOTUM app, and enjoy the latest offers, vouchers, coupons and more at your fingertips. Find out more.

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