Council Tax in Edinburgh

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Relocating to Edinburgh? Or purchasing your first property? Overwhelmed by the world of council tax? Our guide is here to help.

What is council tax?


Council tax is a tax on your home which is paid to your local council. Council tax is used to covered the expenses of things such as water charges, bin collections, street & road maintenance and the upkeep & creation of community services & spaces (libraries, parks, leisure facilities…).


Who pays council tax?


Generally speaking, anyone over the age of 18 who owns or rents a property will be required to pay council tax.

More often than not, it is the responsibility of those living within a property to pay council tax. There are some occasions where landlords may cover council tax and factor in the cost to a tenant’s rent payments, as per their tenancy agreement; this is uncommon though.


How is council tax calculated?


Council tax is calculated on a system that places residential properties into bands. The council values each property and will allocate it a band to determine the yearly amount of council tax due.


In Scotland, there is 8 valuation bands and they run from A (the lowest) to H (the highest). For up to date figures of each and to find out what band your property falls into, take a look at the Scottish Assessors Association website.


Are there discounts available?


There is but you must fall into certain categories to qualify. These include:

  • A property which is solely occupied by fulltime students, may receive a 100% discount.
  • A property where no one over the age of 18 lives may receive a 50% discount.
  • A property which is occupied by a single person, or a single person with only minors, may receive a 25% discount.
  • A property which is owned or rented but is not your main home, may receive a 50% discount.
  • A property which is occupied by those on a low or no income, may be entitled to a discount.
  • A property which is occupied by those with a disability or impairment (both physical and mental), may be entitled to a discount.
  • A property which is unoccupied, may receive a discount. However, those left unoccupied long term may also be penalised with higher rates.

For more information on discounts available and to check if you qualify, take a look at the Edinburgh Council’s Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions Section.


How is Council Tax paid?


When you move into a new property, it’s your responsibility (unless otherwise agreed with a landlord) to set up a Council Tax agreement on the property.


The amount of Council Tax due is calculated for an entire year with a new statement being issued annually in April. You then have the option to pay upfront, or (what is more commonly the case) to pay in 10 monthly instalments from April – January.


In Edinburgh, this can be done via Direct Debit, online payment on the Edinburgh Council website, over the phone or in person at your local Post Office or PayPoint.


It is vital that you keep up with your Council Tax payments. Failure to do so can result in legal action against you.

For in depth and up-to-date information on Council Tax in Edinburgh, visit the different sections of the Edinburgh Council website.


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