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Council Tax Reduction - complaints and appeals

This advice applies to Wales

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax. This is called a Council Tax Reduction (CTR).

Read this page to find out more about what to do if you are not awarded a CTR, or are awarded less than you think you should have.

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
  • ask the local authority to look at the decision again
  • appeal
  • ask the local authority to make a discretionary reduction off the bill, you can do this as well as any of the options above, or instead of them.

Even if you have taken one of the actions in these actions, you must still make the payments shown on your Council Tax bill.

Asking the local authority to look at the decision again

When you receive the notice of the local authority's decision about your CTR application you can ask for an explanation of the decision. You must do this in writing within one month of the date of the notice of the decision.

After receiving the decision, or the explanation, you may think the decision is wrong, because you have not been awarded a CTR, or have been awarded less than you think you should have. If you think there is a mistake you can write to the local authority to say why you think the decision is wrong and ask it to change the decision. Keep a copy of your letter. See below for the time limit for doing this.

If you think the decision about your CTR is wrong you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

  • To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Time limit

Before 1 April 2014 there was no time limit for asking the local authority to look at the decision again.

From 1 April 2014, your request to change the decision must be received by the local authority within one month of the date you were sent the decision, or, if you asked for an explanation of the decision, within one month of when the explanation was sent to you.

Complaints

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 looked at again, or appeal.

The local authority will have its own complaints procedure and will give you details about how to use the procedure.

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 Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW).

Appealing against the decision

You can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW) against your local authority’s decision about:

  • whether you are entitled to any CTR, or
  • how much CTR you are entitled to.

Ask the local authority to make a discretionary reduction off the bill

As well as any of the options above, or instead of taking any of those actions, you can ask the local authority to make a discretionary reduction off the bill. They can do this if they are satisfied that you need help whether or not you qualify for a CTR.

Next steps

►Council Tax Reduction – appealing to the valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW)

Other useful information

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