Council Tax: You could knock £150 off your bill from the local council due to COVID-19

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Council Tax varies dependent on where a person lives, but to work out a bill, people will need certain facts at their disposal. Britons are required to know the valuation band for their home, how much their local council charges, and if they can unlock a discount or exemption. Overall, Council Tax can prove a burden as an additional payment for many households each year.

However, amid these complicated financial times, the government is providing support for those struggling with the bill.

Millions of households may be entitled to receive £150 off their council tax bills through a government scheme.

The government’s Council Tax Hardship Fund was established in March by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and is worth £500million.

It is intended to help those who fall into ‘vulnerable’ groups – people who have been affected the most by COVID-19.

There are, however, a number of eligibility criteria for people to bear in mind when hoping to access the fund.

The support is exclusively accessible for Britons who are of working age and receiving a council tax reduction otherwise known as Council Tax Support (CTS).

CTS is intended to help those who are on a low income to pay their Council Tax, such as people who are on Universal Credit.

It is also likely to help those who cannot work, perhaps due to a disability or long-term ill health.

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It is worth noting, however, that each local authority has been given responsibility for how it administers council tax support

This means to receive the hardship fund, Britons will need to approach their local council to find out the information and support specific to their area of residence.

Council Tax Support generally is based on a number of factors, but prominent matters include what benefits a person receives, their income and the savings they currently have.

A local authority will also take into account a person’s age, who they live with, and their current council tax bill.

For those who already receive Council Tax Support, assistance with the hardship fund should be a simple process.

People should have received a letter from their local council already reducing their bill for the 2020/21 tax year.

However, for those who have not received such correspondence, it is worth reaching out to the local council to find out more.

Those who have not yet received Council Tax Support will need to apply for this before being able to access the hardship fund.

But this too is an easy process, which can be accessed through the government’s official website.

Here, Britons can expect to be redirected to the website of their local council where they will be able to find more details on the fund.

In addition, these websites should also provide relevant contact information to help Britons apply.

Many local councils have stated they are working to ensure the extra support is provided as quickly as possible, potentially though an automated process. 

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