CTB and liability for Council Tax for SMI claimants

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    Colin Masters

    We have come across a situation where brother and sister are joint tenants at a council property but Mr has been disregarded for Council Tax purposes as severely mentally impaired, so Mrs is fully liable for the Council Tax charge and gets single person discount.

    We have paid CTB on a 50% basis for Mr but Mrs does not claim. This claim has been highlighted as possibly incorrect as CT regs say that if there are 2 or more people of equal standing in the property and one or more is a student or SMI, then only the people who aren’t SMI/student are classed as liable.

    We have read this now to mean that Mrs is liable and Mr isn’t and can’t claim CTB for the property. It doesn’t seem right as
    Mrs seems to be made to pay all the charge as Mr is disregarded.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this or a way that Mr could claim?

    Julian Hobson

    I think in terms of whether this “right” you need to think a bit differently.

    If Mr lived on his own he would have no CT liability at all.

    If Mrs Lived on her own she would have 75% liability.

    The SMI reduction simply creates the situation that Mrs would have been in had she been on her own.

    So Mr can’t get CTB and she must pay it all, If she doesn’t have an entitlement to CTB then I think my “right” indicator says she can afford to pay and should pay.

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