Tax (Income / Council Tax)

Student Money Team advisors can provide information, advice and guidance on tax (income tax and council tax) and national insurance for students.

Information on Council Tax

The amount payable depends on the value of the property, how many people live there and who the people are.

For University owned accommodation

Please see:

For non-University owned (private sector) accommodation

There is a two stage process. Firstly, you must notify your residence at the property and claim this council tax exemption because it is not automatic. Secondly, the council will then need to verify the status of all residents in the property.

1) Notifying your residence at a property

If you are living off campus you may be liable for Council Tax for where you are living. It is your responsibility to contact your local council (e.g. Guildford Borough Council) to register for Council Tax and any exemption from it which may apply due to your student status. (If you are a full time student you will usually be exempt from Council Tax if you live alone or with other full time students.)

To apply for this exemption the council will need the details for every individual resident in the property. You can register by either emailing the details to or by telephoning 0330 123 0081 selecting 1 for council tax followed by 3 to report a change of address (24 hour service) or by completing the online form.

2) Council verification of student status

Guildford Borough Council Postcodes

From December 2014 Surrey University will automatically share certain information* with Guildford Borough Council (GBC) for students resident in GU1, GU2, GU3, GU4, GU5, GU7, GU8, GU12, GU16, GU10, GU23, GU24, KT23 and KT24 address postcodes under a Data Sharing Agreement.

(* This will include the information which used to be produced on a hard copy letter which was previously issued to you to then send on to the council.)

The information provided allows the council to automatically verify student status and establish that your application for council tax exemption is valid. It means that if you live in these postcodes you cannot request a hardcopy letter from the University (as proof of your student status) as it will be shared by default. If you ticked the opt out in error go to self service online and untick the box.

Other Councils

If you live outside of the above postcode address areas you will need to register and claim exemption with your local council and request a council tax exemption letter as evidence of your student status. You can get a council tax exemption letter from the University by visiting the Student Services Centre or produce an e-copy through self service online.

Tax related questions our Student Money Team can help you answer

  • Do I have to pay council tax?
  • How much can I earn from employment before I'm taxed?
  • Is my employer taxing me at the correct rate? (If your tax code is "BR" you may be paying too much tax.)
  • What if I've overpaid tax - can I get a refund and if so how?
  • What is NI, should I be paying it?
  • Should the interest I get on my savings be taxed?

Further Information

Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue website has a section dedicated to students, with online calculators and a tax checker. We can help guide you to understand and work through information to resolve matters.

See also

Tax Guide for Students -
Tax Aid -

To make an appointment contact us.