Council Tax

About Council Tax

Who has to pay the Council Tax

Council Tax is charged on every domestic property on the Isle of Wight and is payable by homeowners or occupiers.  The person who must pay the Council Tax is someone who lives in the property and who is in the highest category of residence.

The list below details the hierarchy of which resident would be liable.  If two or more people are in the same category, they are usually jointly responsible for paying.  If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting you will be jointly liable.

A joint liability is also known as a Joint and Several liability, which means each person is liable for the full charge of Council Tax.

Hierarchy of Liability:      

        A    The Owner or Freeholder

        B    The Leaseholder

        C    The Tenant (includes a council tenant)

        D    A licensee

        E    Someone who lives in the property 

If you own a property and it is unoccupied, all owners will be joint and severely liable for the full charge even if they do not live there.  

The owner of the property will have to pay the council tax if:

  • The property is no-one's main home.
  • More than one household occupies the property.
  • It is a residential care or nursing home.
  • It is occupied by a religious community or minister of religion.
  • Only domestic service staff live in the property.
  • It is only occupied by asylum seekers. 

Discounts for unoccupied properties were abolished on the 1 April 2017. For more information please click here

Change of Circumstances

If any changes occur which may affect your Council Tax liability, you are required by law to inform the Council within 21 days of the changes occurring. 

Below are some examples of the types of changes in circumstance that may be applied to a Council Tax account and the information that you will be required to provide to make that change.


Moving home

  • If you are moving home or you have sold your property you can update this online.
  • If you are a landlord or Letting Agent notifying us of tenants moving into or out of a property please click here

Reporting a Bereavement

  • If there is only one adult remaining in the property they may be entitled to a discount. For more information please click here
  • If the property is still occupied by more than one adult over the age of 18 please email confirming the name of the deceased, the date of death and who is occupying the address of the deceased. Depending on circumstances of the household other discounts may be available, for more information please click here
  • If the property has remained unoccupied since the date of death an exemption may be applicable. For more information and to apply please click here.


Change of Name

  • If there is a name change (i.e. through marriage etc) you can update this online.


Number of Occupants

  • If individuals are leaving your household please email  providing full names, the exact date of the change and any new /forwarding address(es) if known.
  • If you will be the only adult remaining in the property and no one else considers your address as their main home, you may be entitled to a discount. Find out more information .

  • If individuals are joining your household please email providing full names, the exact date they moved in, any previous address(es) if known.


Full-time Education

  • If there are members of your household over the age of 18 who are in full-time education they may be disregarded from Council Tax and a discount may apply. View more information and to apply .  
  • If there are members of your household over the age of 18 due to finish full-time education please email providing full names, date they stopped being a full time student and names of any other adult over the age of 18 who considers your address as their main home.


Exemption or Discount Entitlement

  • If there are changes that affect a qualification for a discount or exemption, please email giving full details of the change. 
  • If you are claiming Local Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit and your circumstances change you will need to inform our Benefits Section.

Working from home

If you work at or from home, you should be aware that the accommodation within your home used as an 'office' may be liable to business rates whilst the remainder of the property will continue to be liable to council tax (although an alteration may be made to its banding).

There are many considerations that must be made in deciding whether a room in a house, used as an office, should be liable to business rates and each case is considered on its own merits.  The Valuation Office Agency will consider the extent and frequency of the non-domestic use of the room and any modifications made to the property to accommodate that use.

Each case is considered on its own merits, and normally a member of staff from the Valuation Office will visit the property to check the facts before an assessment is made for non domestic rates. View more information.

Council Tax or Business Rates

If your property is no-one's main home, is used as short term holiday accommodation and available to let  for 140 days or more, it may be possible for it to be rated for Business Rates rather than Council Tax.

Any requests made to the council will be referred to the Valuation Officer who will assess your property.  View or download the application form .