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Do I qualify for a Council Tax Reduction?

If you’re curious about whether you qualify for Council Tax Reduction, read on to find out which terms apply and what you can do about your bill being too high.

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a compulsory tax which is charged by the local council. It’s typically used to fund local services such as rubbish collection, transport services, and the maintenance of parks and sports centres.

This tax is charged annually and can be spread over 10 monthly payments. There will be a tax break in your bill, typically in February and March where you don’t have to pay anything.

What reductions are available?

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home, so if your circumstances differ to this, you may qualify for a Council Tax discount. Similarly, if you are on a low income, you may also be able to apply for Council Tax Reduction (CTR).

However, any reduction you’re eligible for is dependent on several factors:

  • Your location

  • Your circumstances (e.g. which benefits you receive)

  • Whether children live with you

  • Your household income (including any savings, pensions, and your partner’s income)

  • If other adults live in the home

When to apply for Council Tax Reduction

If you are eligible for CTR, it’s important to submit your application as soon as possible. Better yet, if you know you’re going to be eligible before you move into the home, you can apply for it up to eight weeks in advance.

If you already started paying your Council Tax and you’re eligible for a reduction, you may be able to get it backdated, so speak to your local council to find out if this is possible.

Who is exempt from Council Tax?

Some people in your household may not be counted when calculating how many people live in the property – this is known as disregarded.

You will be disregarded if you are under 18 and living at home, in education or training, temporarily away from home (due to long-term hospitalisation), considered to have severe mental impairment, or if you host people under the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme.

This is not an exhaustive list, so it’s important to contact your local council to find out if you are exempt.

Related: Will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax when selling a property?

Single person Council Tax Reduction

If you are living in the property by yourself, or if all other residents in your home are disregarded, you can apply for a reduction of 25% to your Council Tax bill. If you are also disregarded along with the rest of your household, you may be eligible for a 50% discount.

What is Second Adult Rebate?

Second Adult Rebate can also qualify you for CTR if you’re the only person in your home liable for paying Council Tax, but another adult lives in the home who:

  • Isn’t your partner

  • Is over 18

  • Is not jointly liable for council tax

  • Does not pay rent to you

  • Is on low-income/certain benefits

The criteria for a Second Adult Rebate is based solely on the adult living with you, so you may be entitled to SAR if you are not entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

Disabled Band Reduction Scheme

You may qualify for the Disabled Band Reduction scheme if you or someone you live with is disabled and the home has additional rooms or space to accommodate a disability such as an extra kitchen or bathroom.

For those eligible, the Council Tax bill can be reduced to the next band down. For example, if you pay for Council Tax Band E, you will be moved down to the Council Tax Band D rate. If your home is already at the lowest band of A, the bill will be reduced by 17%.

Additionally, if you or someone you live with is severely mentally impaired, you may qualify for up to a 100% discount depending on your circumstances. It’s important to speak with your council to find out more about what reduction you may be eligible for.

Are you ready to start your next moving journey? Contact your local Whitegates branch today

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