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Thread: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

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    Default Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    I wonder if anyone can enlighten me in regard to Council Tax Law.

    After a long period of unemployment, I have finally managed to secure myself two job offers - both contracts. One is for 9 months in London and the other is for 3 years and based in Brussels. This means that, whichever role I accept, I will be living away from home for 98% of the time.

    If I take the job in London I will be renting an apartment there, so I will be liable to pay Council Tax there to the local authority which I will accept as I will be living/sleeping there for 5 out of 7 days of each week. However, surely if I am renting an apartment in London and paying Council Tax there, then that should be classified as my main home.

    However, because my wife and kids will remain living at my home in Swansea, then Council Tax will also be due there. However, it is only THEIR main home in that case as I will only be resident at my home in Swansea for two days/nights every week (unless they come to London to stay with me on some weekends). So surely in this case, I should be entitled to a reduction in Council Tax for my Swansea home because for the vast majority of time, there is now only one adult and three children living at my home in Swansea (wife and three kids).

    If I take the job in Brussels, then the situation is surely very different because it would mean that I would not be returning home every weekend (prolly more like every 2nd or 3rd weekend) and would effectively be a foreign resident in Brussels and therefore paying the local Belgian tax equivalent. But again, the same question still applies because the Swansea home will not be MY main home but it will be the main residence of my wife and kids.

    If anyone understands how the Council Tax system works then I would be grateful for advice as I will be damned if I am going to pay Council Tax twice when I don't have to.

    Logically, because I am away from home consistently for 5 of the 7 days in each week, then surely I must be classed as not living in Swansea. An analogy could be that of a couple who have separated/divorced with the kids living with their mother. Every weekend, the father comes home to see his kids and spend time with them, but because he lives far away, he stays at that home while the visit takes place. He would not be required to pay Council Tax at the home of his kids because he does not live there !!

    I've tried researching this on the internet but simply keep finding different Council's websites. ALL of whom offer conflicting advice on this matter (e.g. if one is working away from home in accommodation paid for by the employer then one is NOT exempt from Council Tax at the 'normal' home - but I would paying for the accommodation myself so this would not apply !!)

    Does anyone know what applies and what I should be exempt from ?


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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    You may qualify for a Council Tax discount of one of the following apply:

    · is the property not their main home?

    Therfore you would probabaly pay full amount for your Family home and get a deduction for your rented accomodation

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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    Can you state which council, will cover both houses, or PM me if you dont want to post on the forum.
    Then we can look at each councils policy

    PKea

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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    It's kinda hypothetical at the moment as

    1) I have not decided which job to accept

    2) If I were to live in London, then I have not decided where yet (though my preference is the area covering Northolt/Greenford/Perivale/Ealing/Acton as they are all within easy distance of the place of work in Shepherds Bush and are also easy to drive to from Wales

    3) If I took the Brussels job then I wouldn't even be living in the UK


    The 'home' Council in question would be Swansea.

    The question really is whether the London/Brussels home is considered my main residence or whether my Swansea home is considered my main residence. I would guess the London/Brussels home would have to be my main residence as I would be spending almost all of my time there.

    I KNOW that I will be accepting one of these jobs, I just haven't decided which. So I am merely exploring ways of reducing the (Council) Tax burden as much as possible

    Cheers
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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    I presume you Own the home in Swansea and that your Family live there.
    As you own this home and your Family resides there permantly and you will do occasioanlly, this will proba be classed as you main residence.
    As you other accomodation will be rented, this woudl be classed as a secondary residence.

    So I believe you would pay full bill to Swansea Council, and maybe get a discount from the London Council.

    Now if you live and work abroad for the majority of the year, this in turn has other issues to take into such as taxation etc, which may affect things differently.

    PKea

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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    From Swansea Council

    City and County of Swansea - Frequently asked Questions

    Who is liable to pay Council Tax?

    One Council Tax bill per dwelling will be issued. To work out who in your dwelling is liable to pay Council Tax, look at the first list below. The first description that applies to someone in your home, means that they will be responsible for the bill, and are therefore the "liable person".

    A - Resident freeholder (usually the owner of an owner-occupied property)
    B - Resident leaseholder (this includes assured tenants under the Housing Act 1988).
    C - Resident statutory or secure tenant.
    D - Resident licensee.
    E - Resident.
    F - The owner (this applies where the dwelling has no resident).
    "Resident", in relation to any dwelling, means an individual who has attained the age of 18 years and has his sole or main residence in the dwelling.

    Owner's Liability

    There are some instances where the owner will always be liable to pay. These are in following circumstances:
    A - Residential Care Homes
    B - Dwellings inhabited by Religious Communities
    C - Houses in Multiple Occupation (e.g. houses / flats where each tenant pays rent for their room or part of the property)
    D - Some properties with resident staff
    E - Dwellings inhabited by a minister of religion from which he performs his duties.
    F - Dwellings provided to asylum seekers
    The owner means the freeholder or anyone who has a lease or tenancy of six months or more.




    I live and work abroad. Why do I have to pay council tax for my property in Swansea?

    The Council Tax Regulations state that the owner of a property is liable for payment of Council Tax if no-one is resident in the property. (NB - "Resident", in relation to any dwelling, means an individual who has attained the age of 18 years and has his sole or main residence in the dwelling) Additionally, even though you may not stay in Swansea every night because you work away, your home in Swansea may be classed as your "sole or main residence", (see definition of resident above) especially if it is your intention to return to it when your period of work finishes. For further advice on this topic, contact the Council Tax Section.



    Hope these help you

    PKea

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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    Thanks for the answer.

    To be honest, as Council Tax rates are quite a bit higher in London than in Swansea, then it would make more sense to have the reduction on the rented accommodation in London anyway. PLUS, I guess, I would have some form of reduction regardless because most Council Tax bills are calculated on the basis that TWO adults live at the property and reduced accordingly if there is only one living there.

    As regards Tax Issues with working abroad, I'm already aware of this. I'm still trying to figure out if I would be better off tax-wise paying taxes locally in Brussels and declaring myself an expat in the eyes of the UK Government - even though I would still own a home in Swansea (and the family would still live there). The sticking point is the fact that I would be sending home quite a bit of money into the UK from Brussels to pay the household bills in Swansea.

    I'm gonna need an accountants opinion on that which I am currently awaiting. Working as a contractor in the UK attracts the interest of the Inland Revenue through IR35. However, living and basing myself out of Belgium might be better tax-wise as the tax laws regarding contractors may be better there. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if the UK government has some loophole in place that enables them to tax me even as a non-resident !!
    Cherish your dreams. They are the one thing in life that nobody can take away from you.


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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester View Post
    Thanks for the answer.
    No probs

    And if you do get clarification, maybe you can post it up, in case of any others in a similar predicament, Thanks

    PKea

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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    Can't help on the council tax thing - but EXCELLENT NEWS on the job front !

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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    Thanks Ame.

    I'm bloody amazed I have survived this long without a job considering the financial difficulties I was in (as you are well aware).

    However, I am NOT out of the woods yet. I haven't actually had the written offers on either job yet, let alone decided which one to take. I still have to fend the vultures off for at least another 6 weeks yet (by which time I should have had my first pay packet). Of course, they could both still fall through until it is signed, sealed and dusted.

    I just wish I'd realised earlier how much money I could make from working as a contractor AND the fact that I could afford to rent a property where I decided to work and yet still make bundles (and pay off the debts I have accrued).

    The London job pays more and is easier to go home from every weekend. However, it is also bloody expensive to live in London.

    The Brussels job pays less (though not significantly so) and the cost of accommodation in Brussels is a LOT less than in London. The downside of the Brussels job is that it is not so easy to go home every weekend (the nearest any budget airline flies from Brussels to Swansea is Bristol and the train is expensive in comparison). However, I am erring on the side of Brussels so far as I quite fancy living in another country for a while. Also, I have just read an article online that states that living in Brussels means I would become tax-exempt after the first full tax year - even if I worked for a UK-based Umbrella company and continued to have my money paid into a UK bank account. Also, I'd get to brush up on my (very) rusty French and Dutch.

    I've kept an eye on the OFT thread you, Toolz and Exe have been updating. Looks like we are still quite a few months away from a result there.
    Cherish your dreams. They are the one thing in life that nobody can take away from you.


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    Default Re: Council Tax Law When Living/Working Away

    Quote Originally Posted by PKea View Post
    No probs

    And if you do get clarification, maybe you can post it up, in case of any others in a similar predicament, Thanks

    PKea

    I may write up a proper article on this, regardless of which job I accept. It will be interesting if I accepted the London job to see how the Council Tax pans out.

    Similarly, if I go for the Brussels role, then my experiences and how the tax system works for an 'ex-pat whose family still live in the UK' would, I think, benefit others thinking of doing the same.

    Whatever I decide, once I have all of the information and experience then I will share it here.

    Thanks again for your help.
    Cherish your dreams. They are the one thing in life that nobody can take away from you.


    Now with an unbelievable 500 followers of my inane drivel on Twitter !!

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