Do you have to pay council tax if you’re on benefits ?

By | August 28, 2017

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Do you have to pay council tax if you’re on benefits ?

Just because you are in receipt of state benefits or on a limited income you are not specifically excluded from having to pay Council Tax. Council Tax legislation does not take account of whether a person has the funds or ability to make any payment towards the monies which are outstanding.

Prior to 01 April 2013 many people on a zero or low-income received sufficient Council Tax Benefit to cover 100% of their Council Tax charge. From 01 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was replaced with a new system, Council Tax Reduction (also called Council Tax Support), which instead of being a national system is set by each Local Authority. Due to funding changes made when Council Tax Reduction was introduced most people who would have once have their Council tax paid in full no longer do so but this varies from area to area. A zero income no longer guarantees that you will receive a full award of Council Tax Reduction.

How do I get help with paying my Council Tax ?

There are three specific areas of Council Tax legislation which might help reduce the actual Council Tax which you have to pay;

  • Discounts and exemptions – make sure that any discounts or exemptions which are available from your Local Authority have been granted.
    • A discount is given where sufficient residents have been disregarded to reduce the charge. For example, a 25% discount where one of the two adults resident has been disregarded.
      A discount may also be given in some cases where there are no residents in the property. For example, a property that is standing empty.
    • An exemption can be given in some cases where all of the residents are disregarded¬†, student households being a common example, or in some cases where a property is standing empty.
  • Council Tax Reduction – make sure that you apply to your Local Authority for Council Tax Reduction. The responsibility for the claiming it, and for keeping the details updated, rests with person who is liable for the Council Tax charge on the property.
  • Discretionary help – In addition to the types of reductions outline above a Section 13A discretionary relief can also be claimed in some instances to help with payment.

Advice & Assistance from LGFA92

Good quality help with your Council Tax dispute can be hard to come across – there’s a lack of independent, expert, places where you can get the help you need however LGFA92 are here to change that. See how we can help today

Contact us today. Email us at [email protected], Call our Council Tax helpline on 0191 6451118.

This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.