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  • FIRST POST
    • lozza1234
    • By lozza1234 14th Mar 17, 8:33 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    lozza1234
    Council Tax - Returning from Abroad to living with student
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:33 AM
    Council Tax - Returning from Abroad to living with student 14th Mar 17 at 8:33 AM
    Hi all,

    I hope this is not a duplicate thread, but I have searched for this all over the forum.

    I have lived abroad (Papua New Guinea) and am moving back to the UK now. My partner lives in a flat in the UK since August, for which I share rent, bills, etc. to support her. The contract is in her name. Since she is a student, she does not pay council tax.

    Now that I am returning, I will have to start paying council tax, but I am worried that they will ask me to backpay to August when the lease started, as I started paying rent at that time. It is a little ambiguous whether the flat in the UK is my primary residence, as I have come back to visit several times, even though my work is based in Papua New Guinea. I have also purchased all the furniture and my name is on the internet bill.

    I would just appreciate any thought about whether there is a risk of having to backpay and how I can argue that I do not have to do this.

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 14th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    • 2,047 Posts
    • 2,852 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    I don't know the answer to your specific question.

    But - when OH and I moved into our current house, he was living and working in India. He'd gone over there at the beginning of April (literally signed the paperwork for the house purchase the day before he flew), and I got the keys on 13th May. So - he was on the deeds, he was on the mortgage, we were married, and some of the bills were in his name. I was still able to claim the single occupant rate until he'd spent a night in the house. He happened to come home for a flying visit in the July (contract was due to last until the end of the year), and would be spending one night in our new home before we headed off somewhere else. From the point where he'd spent a night in the house, it became his main residence, and he would need to pay Council Tax.

    The woman at the Council even suggested that we should stay in a hotel that night, as it would be cheaper than paying the additional Council tax for the remaining months that he was away!!

    Hope that helps! How's PNG? I was there a couple of times in the early 80s (Moresby, Lae, Oro Bay) - long time ago now!
    • lozza1234
    • By lozza1234 14th Mar 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    lozza1234
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:28 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 11:28 AM
    Ok, thanks that is very helpful but bad news. That means I may have to pay from November as this is the first time I set foot into our flat.
    Will talk to the council and see what they say.

    I'm so surprised you were in PNG, I almost never meet people in the UK that have been there! I really enjoyed living there, I live in Moresby and still work there at the moment. Its an amazing country, but definitely has its issues (mostly crime, which would not have been the case to the same degree when you were there). It would have changed a lot since the early 80s.

    Thanks for your help!
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Mar 17, 2:39 PM
    • 9,431 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:39 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:39 PM
    You will only have to pay 75% of the full CT bill as your partner is disregarded as she is a F/T student
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Mar 17, 2:53 PM
    • 9,870 Posts
    • 5,639 Thanks
    CIS
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:53 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:53 PM
    Hi all,

    I hope this is not a duplicate thread, but I have searched for this all over the forum.

    I have lived abroad (Papua New Guinea) and am moving back to the UK now. My partner lives in a flat in the UK since August, for which I share rent, bills, etc. to support her. The contract is in her name. Since she is a student, she does not pay council tax.

    Now that I am returning, I will have to start paying council tax, but I am worried that they will ask me to backpay to August when the lease started, as I started paying rent at that time. It is a little ambiguous whether the flat in the UK is my primary residence, as I have come back to visit several times, even though my work is based in Papua New Guinea. I have also purchased all the furniture and my name is on the internet bill.

    I would just appreciate any thought about whether there is a risk of having to backpay and how I can argue that I do not have to do this.

    Thanks!
    Originally posted by lozza1234
    The key issue you have is that the contract is in her name so you will be liable for the council tax only by virtue of being a partner (Section 9 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992).

    Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 usually means a student won't be held jointly liable for council tax with a non-student however because you are only liable by virtue of Section 9 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (i.e. being a resident partner) then you both remain jointly liable on this occasion (it's an odd interplay between two different part of the regulations - Section 9 overrules the usual application of the rules).

    There will be a 25% discount as she is a full time student but you both remain jointly liable for the council tax charge (it would be different if you were an actual tenant on the agreement)

    You are not jointly liable for the council tax for any period in which the property has not been your 'sole or main' residence.

    Craig
    Last edited by CIS; 14-03-2017 at 3:20 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • 2,047 Posts
    • 2,852 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    I imagine the country has changed enormously since I was there!! I remember shopping at the Burns Philp supermarket (everything seemed to be owned by Burns Philp!!) in Moresby, and having a meal at the Red Rose Chinese restaurant near the docks in Lae. Also got to Rabaul and Kimbe. Visited the area twice, once in 1980 and again in 1983. A scarily long time ago now!
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