Council Tax Reduction - complaints and independent review
If you are not satisfied with the local authority's decision about your Council Tax Reduction (CTR) application, or the way it has dealt with the application, you can consider taking one or more of the following actions:
- complain, even if you do not ask for a review
- ask the local authority to review its decision
- if you are not satisfied with the local authority's internal review, ask for an independent review.
Even if you have taken one or more of these actions, you must still make the payments shown on your council tax bill.
Asking the local authority to review its CTR decision
When you receive the notice of the local authority's decision about your CTR application you can ask for an internal review of the decision. There is a time limit for asking for an internal review. You must ask for an internal review before you can ask for an independent review (see next paragraph).
You don't agree with the outcome of the local authority's internal review
If the Council Tax Reduction decision was made before 1 October 2013, special rules apply.
Independent further review of a CTR decision
You can ask for an independent further review of your local authority's internal review of its CTR decision about:
- whether you are entitled to any CTR, or
- how much CTR you are entitled to.
Independent further review of a local authority's review of its CTR decision is carried out by the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel (CTRRP). You must wait for the outcome of the local authority's internal review of its CTR decision before you can apply to the CTRRP, unless you do not hear from your local authority within two months of asking for the internal review. There is a time limit for applying to the CTRRP.
If you think your local authority has acted unfairly or unreasonably, or has provided a poor service when dealing with your CTR application you can consider making a complaint. You can complain whether or not you also ask for the decision to be reviewed, or for a further independent review.
Your local authority should have its own complaints procedure which is publicly available. The complaints procedure usually consists of several stages. There may be a named officer responsible for acting as a point of contact for complaints from the public. You can find a map of local authorities on the Scottish Government website at www.gov.scot, or you can use the GOV.UK website with your postcode to find your local authority website.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the local authority, or if no action is taken, you can refer the complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.