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Council Tax Reduction - how to apply

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus – council tax reduction

If you have less money because of coronavirus, check if you can pay less council tax. You might be able to get a council tax reduction.

Use our check my council tax tool to see if you can get any help with your council tax.

You might be able to get a payment of £130 if you were getting a council tax reduction in April 2021. You might also get it if you don’t have to pay council tax, for example, because you’re living in temporary accommodation.   

Find out more about the low income pandemic payment.

Also check to see if you can get any other help to pay your bills if you’re struggling because of coronavirus.

How to apply for Council Tax Reduction

You can apply for Council Tax Reduction (CTR) in the following ways, depending on how your local authority has decided to accept applications:

  • in writing, including on an application form, if your local authority has one, or
  • electronically on a form, if the local authority allows this, or
  • by phone, if the local authority allows this.

If you apply in writing, but not on an application form, you may be sent a form to complete or you may be asked for further information.

If you apply electronically you should make sure that the application has been received by the local authority. If you do not receive an online acknowledgement, you should ring the local authority and check if your application has been received.

If you apply electronically, the local authority can use electronic communications for all further correspondence about your application unless you ask for this to change. If you do ask to use paper correspondence instead, you must allow the local authority at least a week to switch.

If you apply by phone, you may be asked to provide a written statement to support your application.

If you apply for a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit you should be asked whether you want to apply for a CTR. If you say yes, the DWP should send information to your local authority, but you will need to apply to your local authority for a CTR too. If the local authority has received information from the DWP which the DWP has verified and used in connection with a benefit claim, the local authority may use this information in connection with the CTR claim.

Where to apply for Council Tax Reduction

You can find out which local authority deals with your CTR application using the postcode of the property on the GOV.UK website. There is a link to a 'postcode finder' on that page. The COSLA website lists each local authority area with link to that local authority.

Evidence to support your application

You may be asked to provide evidence to support any information you give. The local authority can ask for more information or evidence after an application has been made if they think the information is unclear.

If you are unable to answer all the questions immediately, or do not have evidence to hand, you should state 'information/evidence to follow' for any questions you cannot answer, but do not delay applying.

You will usually be expected to provide evidence of earnings, for example, pay slips, and of savings, for example, building society books.

If you are asked for information or evidence, you should supply it within a month. If you can't, you should tell the local authority in writing as soon as possible, and ask for the period to be extended.

If the delay appears reasonable, for example, if you have been ill or your employer has refused to provide information, the local authority can decide to extend the period beyond a month.

Amending or withdrawing an application

Before the local authority has made a decision on your application, you can withdraw your application, or change any information you have given. If you change the information, the local authority will make the decision using the new information as if you had given this when you first applied.

If you made the application in writing, you should amend or withdraw it in writing. If you made the application by phone, you can withdraw or amend by phone or in writing.

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