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Council tax reduction (CTR)

The council tax reduction (CTR) scheme can provide help with your council tax bill if you are on a low income.

About the scheme

The Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme started in April 2013. The scheme replaced the Council Tax Benefit scheme and is different because it works by calculating a reduction to your council tax bill, instead of awarding a benefit payment. 

For more information, you can download a copy of the full Council Tax Reduction Scheme, available in the downloads section of this page.

Frequently asked questions

 

Overview

Council Tax Reduction (CTR) is a financial support scheme put in place to help individuals and families who are struggling to pay their council tax bills.

Instead of awarding a benefit payment, the Council Tax Reduction scheme works by calculating a reduction to your council tax bill. It is means-tested, meaning eligibility depends on things like your income, any savings you have, the size of your household, and individual circumstances. 

For more information, a copy of the full Council Tax Reduction Scheme is available here:  Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024/25 (OpenDocument text format) [950KB] (opens new window) .

Making a claim, notifying us of changes, or providing evidence

When making a claim, notifying us of changes, or providing evidence, you must include your claim reference number or National Insurance number in your correspondence. Any email attachments should total less than 10mb in size.

Find out if you qualify for help

Use the benefits calculator to find out if you qualify (the calculator can be used to assess entitlement to both Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit).

Benefits calculator (entitledto.co.uk) (opens new window)

The calculator is only an estimate based on the information you supply.

How to make a claim

If you believe you qualify for a Council Tax Reduction, you can make a claim online:

Council Tax Reduction: make a claim (opens new window)

If you are unable to make a claim using our online form, please call us on 0300 456 0110.

Evidence to support your claim

On completion of your online claim, you will be asked to provide us with evidence to support it. Any delay in providing the evidence will delay your payment.

How to provide evidence

You can contact us by email or by post with your evidence. You must include your claim reference number or National Insurance number with your evidence, and any email attachments should total less than 10mb in size.

Contact the benefits team

A full list of the documents we may ask for can be found in our  council tax reduction and housing benefit evidence factsheet (OpenDocument text format) [527KB] (opens new window)

If you are already claiming Universal Credit

If you are already claiming Universal Credit, you should indicate on the online Universal Credit claim that you intend to apply for a Council Tax Reduction. The Department for Work and Pensions will then share your data with us to allow your Council Tax Reduction to be calculated.

Notify us of changes

Tell us immediately if something changes

If there are any changes in your household or personal circumstances after you make an application for Council Tax Reduction, you must let us know immediately. Don't rely on someone else to tell us. 

How to tell us about a change

Call, email, or write to us.

Contact the benefits team

Providing evidence of any changes

When reporting a change of circumstance, you may need to provide evidence of the change, and when it happened. We will tell you if we need any evidence when you contact us.

You will need to Contact the benefits team to provide your evidence by email, or by post.

You must include your claim reference number or National Insurance number, and any email attachments must total less than 10mb in size.

Frequently asked questions

How is Council Tax Reduction calculated?

The amount of reduction you receive depends on your council tax band and will be worked out by comparing your household's actual income with a basic amount (known as the applicable amount) set by the government. Where income is below the applicable amount, the highest amount of Council Tax Reduction will be awarded. As income rises above the applicable amount, so the level of benefit /reduction falls.

Non-dependent deduction

In households where there are working age children or relatives a (non-dependent), a fixed reduction will be made for each non-dependent. To find out the current rate, refer to the full scheme. 

What is the maximum amount of Council Tax Reduction I can receive?

If you are of pension credit age, you may receive help with all or some of your council tax, depending on your income and personal circumstances.

If you are of working age but considered protected, you may receive help with all or some of your council tax, depending on your income and personal circumstances. To be considered protected, you must be receiving one or more of the following income: War Disablement Pension, War Widows Pension, Disability Living Allowance - any rate or component type or Personal Independence Payment - any rate or component type.

If you are of working age and not considered protected, your Council Tax Reduction will be based on 80% of your council tax liability. This means you will still have to pay at least 20% of the council tax charge, even if you are on a low income or receiving benefits.

Is there a limit on the amount of capital I can have?

If you are of working age, (regardless of whether you are protected or not) you will not be eligible to claim Council Tax Reduction should you have savings or capital of £10,000 or more.

If you are of pension credit age, you will not be eligible to claim Council Tax Reduction if you have savings or capital of £16,000 or more.

How do I appeal a council tax decision?

If you disagree with a decision about your Council Tax Reduction claim, you can request more information about the decision or appeal.

What if I don't understand the decision?

When we have dealt with your claim for Council Tax Reduction, we will send you a decision letter. This letter will explain the information we have used to work out your reduction. You should check the letter carefully. If you do not understand the decision and want it explained, please contact us straight away.

What if I'm not happy with the decision?

If you are unhappy with the decision, you must write to us within one month asking for it to be looked at again. This is called a reconsideration. When you write to us, you must tell us:

  • your full name and address.
  • the address that the appeal relates to.
  • the grounds on which you are unhappy with the decision.
  • reasons why you consider that the decision or calculation made by the council was incorrect.

We will look at your claim and advise you in writing of the outcome within one month of receiving your request for reconsideration. If the decision is not changed in your favour, you will have the right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for England within two months of the date of the reconsideration.

What if I want to appeal?

If you want to appeal, you must contact the Valuation Tribunal for England (opens new window).

Further information and other sources of support

Council tax discounts and exemptions

A full council tax bill assumes that there are at least two adults over 18 living in the property but, depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a discount, or an exemption may apply to your property. Find out more: Council tax Discounts and exemptions.

The Local Welfare Provision

The Local Welfare Provision (LWP) scheme provides critical short-term help and assistance to support people in crisis. find out more: Help in a crisis.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a streamlined welfare system in England that provides financial support to individuals and families. It replaces various benefits and tax credits, including:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), find out more here: Universal Credit.

Housing benefit

Housing benefit has been replaced by Universal Credit in Wiltshire. However, where there are specific circumstances, housing benefit can still be claimed via your local council, as they are best placed to understand where these situations apply. Housing benefit can be claimed whether you are working or not, and may cover all or part of your rent. Find out more: Housing Benefit.

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