Council tax is a charge paid to your local council, in this case Sheffield City Council, for things like your bin collections and emergency services and only applies if you are not living in University owned accommodation. Full time students are exempt from paying council tax. Full details of those who are exempt can be found here. You can collect a council tax exemption certificate from SSiD or print it out from MUSE if studying for a full year, or collect a certificate of student status from SSiD if studying for less than one full year.
How to Apply for Exemption
To apply for exemption, you will require the Council Tax Exemption Certificates for all of your housemates. You will need to complete a form either online or by downloading and completing a paper form and returning it to the council. You can find the link to the online form, the paper form and postal address here.
Short Course Students
Students studying short courses such as the pre-sessional English Courses offered by the English Language Teaching Centre over the summer period are not exempt from council tax payments as they do not meet the requirements of being a full time student. If a short course student proceeds to undertake a further course such as a masters degree at the University of Sheffield they will only be exempt from council tax when they become a registered student for their second course if it is a full time course.
Erasmus students will need to provide Sheffield City Council with both a certificate of student status from SSiD and a letter from their home institution written in English confirming their student status. A template of a letter is provided by SSiD and can be found here. Please be aware that it is at the discretion of Sheffield City Council to accept these as grounds for exemption.
One Person Discount
Where there is only one person in a property liable to pay council tax, you are eligible for a single person discount of 25%. Please note that persons under the age of 18 and dependents such as spouses over the age of 18 who are not eligible to work or receive benefits in the UK are also exempt from council tax. Information on the discount can be found here.
Living in Sheffield After Your Course Ends
Postgraduate students whose courses end in September, but do not graduate until January will be required to pay council tax between the end of their course and when they leave the property. You can find out when you are no longer classed as a student by speaking to SSiD, or looking at the date on your UCard. This is the date that you will need to start paying council tax from.
In some cases, final year undergraduate students may also be pursued by Sheffield City Council to pay for council tax. This is because your student status usually expires in mid-June but your tenancy agreement is usually until the end of June. This can mean that you are required to pay for 2 or 3 weeks’ worth, and unfortunately it isn’t something you can avoid.