Council Tax Letters

  • Council tax is a system of local taxation collected by local authorities.
  • A council tax student certificate (“Council Tax Letter”) can help prove you don’t have to pay Council Tax (if elegible).
  • You should apply for a new Council Tax Letter every academic year.
  • Council Tax letters for each academic session will be available from your course start date.

How to request a Council Tax Student Certificate

On the Student Letters page, select the button labelled 'Request Council Tax Certificate'.

You will be taken to another page explaining how you print and/or save the document.

Note: if you try to open the document in your web browser and are asked for a password, then instead download the document and open it from your computer’s desktop.

To be eligible for Council Tax Exemption,

  • You must be enrolled
  • Your course must be a full-time course
  • Letters are available online during the teaching year (i.e. not during the break between academic years)
If you are not a full-time student but think that you are nonetheless eligible for Council Tax exemption, please contact the Student Records Team.

Please ensure that your term-time address is up to date in our student records before you request a Council Tax Letter.

If the online tool does not produce the current academic session information after two weeks have passed since the start of teaching, please contact the Student Records Team.

If you require a historic council student certificate for an academic year that is not being produced by the automatic tool, please complete this online form

If a property is occupied by a mixture of full-time students, part-time and non-students, the property is not exempt. (Discounts or Council Tax Reductions may apply, depending on the circumstances of the non-student residents).

No Council Tax is normally payable in:
  • University halls of residence
  • A shared house or flat where all residents are full-time students and each pays rent separately
  • a self-contained ‘granny flat’ where the person who lives in it is a dependent relative of the owner of the main property.
If you are exempt from Council Tax but your housemates are not exempt, then you are not usually required to pay any share towards the Council Tax bill.

Exempt students are not “jointly and severally liable” for Council Tax as they are for some other bills. However, the situation is different if you have a ‘higher’ interest in the property, e.g. if you are the owner.

If you are sent a Council Tax bill, do not ignore it even if you are exempt. The local authority has extensive powers to enforce payment and a court order can be levied against you for non-payment.

You will need to contact the relevant authority (details on the bill) to ensure that the Council Tax department has applied the student exemptions for the correct dates and that all occupants in shared accommodation have provided Council Tax Student Certificates.

The assessment rules regarding exemption for students who are not enrolled as full-time students are complex. Students enrolled part-time are advised to contact the Student Records Team to discuss their personal circumstances if they think they may be exempt from Council Tax.

If you are not exempt from Council Tax, you may be entitled to a Council Tax Reduction or a Council Tax Discount, depending on your situation, and depending on the criteria used by your local authority. Please contact your local authority for further information.

Council Tax exemption ends when you stop being a student enrolled on a full-time course.


If you have a question about council tax, contact:

  • Your Council to get answers about eligibility for exemption or reductions, and your personal circumstances.
  • The Student Money Advice Team for financial advice.
  • The Student Records Team if you have a question about Council Tax Letters provided by the University.
    (Log in with the username uni\12345678, where 12345678 is your student ID number, and your usual USW password).