Council Tax Reduction - what is Council Tax Reduction
If you were on Council Tax Benefit on 31 March 2013 and your circumstances have not changed, you do not need to apply for a Council Tax Reduction (CTR) as your existing Council Tax Benefit claim should be treated as an application for CTR.
From April 2013, there is a national Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme in Scotland which can help you to pay your council tax if you have a low income. Council Tax Benefit is not available from this date. Your local authority runs the Council Tax Reduction scheme in your area. If you are entitled to a CTR, your council tax bill is reduced.
There are three types of council tax reduction in Scotland for which you may be eligible. You can only be awarded the one which gives you the largest reduction on your council tax bill. The types of CTR are:-
- Main CTR, which you may be eligible for if you have a low income . There is not just one explanation for what a low income is. Whether or not you are eligible may depend on any benefits you receive and what age you are and also what capital you have.
- Bands E-H relief CTR, which you may be eligible for if you have a low income and you live in a home in council tax band E-H. This was introduced to provide relief for the increased council tax rates for these properties from 1 April 2017, throughout Scotland
- Second Adult Rebate is a form of CTR that can be paid instead of main or bands E-H relief CTR, depending on the circumstances of your household. It also reduces your council tax bill.
First check if you qualify for discounts because you live on your own, or a reduction because you are disabled. If you have a 'severe mental impairment' such as Alzheimer's disease, or if you are under 18, you don't have to pay council tax at all.
Council Tax Reduction and water and sewerage charges
If you get Council Tax Reduction (CTR) you should also get up to a maximum of 25% reduction on your public water and sewerage charges on your council tax bill if you are not getting any other discount.
There is a leaflet available called Council tax benefits and water and sewerage services [ 0.68 mb] for more information.
The amount of reduction on your bill depends on the amount of CTR you get. The local authority should apply this automatically to your bill. This rule also applied to council tax benefit from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2013.
Example:- If you get 50% Council Tax Reduction you will have 50% applied to your water and sewerage charges but only up to the maximum of the possible 25% reduction. This means you will get 25% reduction on the water and sewerage charges.
If your bill is for a period beginning before 1 April 2013, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example at a Citizens Advice Bureau - where to get advice.