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UK Council Tax: Implications

UK Council Tax: Implications

Old Mar 16th 2012, 3:08 pm
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Default UK Council Tax: Implications

My wife, who lives in our home in UK, has just had the council tax bill in, with a note on it saying that there's a 25% reduction if only 1 adult lives there. I'm not ordinarily resident for tax purposes so suppose that I qualify on that basis, but are there any implications of telling my local authority that I don't live there? I'm off the electoral role. Can't see there's any issue, and I guess it would be a plus point for the impending residency test.

Any thoughts?
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Old Mar 16th 2012, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: UK Council Tax: Implications

A friend of ours does this - his wife is at home and claims the discount. It will depend on your local council though as some will not grant the discount for people who are only living away on a "temp" basis and she was asked to provide evidence that he was paying council tax elsewhere! I think she had to show the tenancy agreement for his place in Al Ain (in Arabic!)
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Old Mar 16th 2012, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: UK Council Tax: Implications

Yes you should be fine for that. I've done it for my wife. The local authority administrators are not the brightest and may not be particularly well up on the implications of residency, so you will have to insist that you have left the country with no intent of returning. That did the trick for me. Left the wife a bit suspicious though....

You can also backdate it for the tax year, so do it now before April.

With thieving Gideon on the look out to make up the cash shortfall from a cut to his 50% tax cronies it is practically the duty of every expat to ensure the country doesn't get a penny more than it is entitled. Remember that the only way out of this mess is a devaluation in sterling and an export led recovery. Do your bit by helping them towards the cliff.
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Old Mar 17th 2012, 3:53 am
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Default Re: UK Council Tax: Implications

Many expats don't qualify for the discount if they still have a family home back in the UK. It's to do with the definition of 'sole or main residence' in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and where you have greater 'security of tenure'. Owning a house in the UK is more secure tenure than say an employer provided or privately rented pad in the Middle East. The following legal case was cited: Ward v Kingston Upon Hull City Council.

Being UK non-resident for income tax purposes has no bearing whatsoever, so you can be UK income tax free, but still liable for UK Council Tax.

Some expats do get the discount though, but seems to be a hit or hiss.

[J]

Last edited by Johnnyboy11; Mar 17th 2012 at 3:57 am.
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Old Mar 17th 2012, 5:38 am
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Default Re: UK Council Tax: Implications

Originally Posted by Johnnyboy11
Many expats don't qualify for the discount if they still have a family home back in the UK. It's to do with the definition of 'sole or main residence' in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and where you have greater 'security of tenure'. Owning a house in the UK is more secure tenure than say an employer provided or privately rented pad in the Middle East. The following legal case was cited: Ward v Kingston Upon Hull City Council.

Being UK non-resident for income tax purposes has no bearing whatsoever, so you can be UK income tax free, but still liable for UK Council Tax.

Some expats do get the discount though, but seems to be a hit or hiss.

[J]
My local authority weren't worried at all.

Council: Does your husband live there full-time?
Deanetta: No, he lives and works in Dubai.
Council: How often does he come home?
Deanetta: About 15 days per year.
Council: OK - you get the 25 pct reduction.
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Old Mar 17th 2012, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: UK Council Tax: Implications

As I said it's a hit and miss affair. Here's the gist of the response that I received, redacted to protect the innocent:

"Thank you for your email dated xxxxxx 2012 providing the information I requested regarding the classification of your sole or main residence for Council Tax purposes.

In respect of persons working abroad the determination for sole or main residence has been mainly clarified in the legal case Ward v Kingston Upon Hull City Council.

In this case, Mr Ward owned a property in Hull and then went to work in Saudi Arabia living in accommodation supplied by his employer. The High Court upheld the decision that Mr Ward’s sole or main residence was in Hull and therefore should be registered for the personal community charge in Hull although he only spent a few weeks of the year there.

It was held that Mr. Ward had security of tenure at his home in Hull which he clearly did not have in his tied accommodation in Saudi Arabia. He lived in accommodation in Saudi Arabia only because he worked there.

Although the above is persuasive, in determining sole or main residence the material facts for each case should be looked at.

In view of the above and based on all the information you have provided I would consider your sole or main residence for Council Tax purposes to be the dwelling at [UK address].

My reasons for this are:-

1. You have security of tenure for the dwelling at [UK address]. The dwelling in Qatar is leased.
2. The reason for your absence from [UK address] is due to work commitments. However I note the comments in your email that it is likely you will remain in Qatar for the foreseeable future due to the high demand for your work skills.
3. Your family resides at [UK address].
4. You return to [UK address] for short periods during the year.

I regret that no Council Tax discount is applicable and your Council Tax liability has been correctly calculated."

[J]
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Old Mar 17th 2012, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: UK Council Tax: Implications

My wife has got the 25% discount. I supplied council with my resident visa, id card and rental agreement. That is with East Ayrshire Council
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