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Council Tax Reduction - what you need to know

This advice applies to Wales

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax.

From 1 April 2013, Council Tax Benefit is abolished. Local authorities in Wales are now responsible for running their own, local schemes. These are called Council Tax Reduction schemes. They are also sometimes known as Council Tax Support.

Read this page to get some key facts about Council Tax Reduction and how you may be affected.

Council Tax Benefit is not available from April 2013, but every local authority in Wales has a Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme which can help you to pay your council tax if you have a low income. If you are entitled to a CTR, your council tax bill is reduced.

In England, there are big differences between the CTR schemes in different local authorities, but in Wales there are only very small differences.

First check if you qualify for a discount off your bill or a reduction because of adaptations made because someone who is disabled lives in the house.

People who were on Council tax benefit (CTB) on 31 March 2013 whose circumstances had not changed, did not need to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction (CTR) as their existing Council tax benefit claim should have been treated as a claim for CTR.

If you give incorrect or misleading information in connection with your application for CTR, or you fail to report a change of circumstances after you have been awarded a reduction, you may be committing fraud. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment which will have to be repaid and you may have to pay a penalty. CTR is not actually a benefit, but the rules about CTR and fraud are like the rules about benefit fraud.

Other help from your local authority

In Wales, in 2013/14 the Welsh Government funded extra help from local authorities for pensioners. This funding will not be continued but local authorities have discretionary powers to continue to provide extra support for pensioners, and other people, if they wish.

You can ask your local authority to make a discretionary reduction off the bill. You should set out your circumstances when you ask them to consider your request. If you are not happy with their decision about your request you can complain or appeal.

Your Citizens Advice Bureau can help you to apply for discretionary reduction. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.

Next steps

Other useful information

  • For more information about who has to pay council tax and how much you have to pay see Council Tax
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