This blog answers the question “What evidence do I need for council tax reduction?” It discusses the need for evidence, the kinds of evidence that are acceptable and the further procedure with the same.
What evidence do I need for council tax reduction?
A few basic pieces of evidence that you need for council tax reduction are your identity proof, your and your partner’s national insurance number, evidence of income etc. there are several documents that may be accepted under each of the heads and they depend upon particular councils.
Sending evidence with council tax application
In order to pay your council tax, and to claim any tax reductions, exemptions or discounts, you need to attach proper evidence along with your application. This evidence can be attached with your application either in electronic form or in physical form.
What evidence you need to send with your council tax application is enumerated on your council tax website.
A local council can give its decision only when it has all the required evidence and information. Only once it has all this, it writes to you and informs you of its decision.
Evidence of your identity
Evidence of identity can be any document that can act as your identity proof.
The various documents that can be accepted under this are:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Civil partnership certificate
- divorce , annulment or separation paper
- Papers for ending of a civil partnership in your current name.
- If your name has changed because of marriage or civil partnership, then marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Current and valid Passport or Biometric Residence Permit
- Medical card in your name
- Television licence in your name
- Gas, electricity, water or phone bill, not including a mobile phone bill, in your name, received within the last three months
- Current full or provisional driving licence
- Cheque card, credit card, debit card or cash card
- Bank or building society statement (not older than four weeks)
- Certificate of employment in HM Forces or Merchant Navy
- B79 form for notice that you have been released from prison
- Letter from a solicitor, social worker, probation officer, doctor or HM Revenue and Customs
- Letter from the Home Office about immigration status
- Residence permit
- Police Registration Certificate
- Immigration and Nationality Directorate travel document
- Standard acknowledgement letter (SAL1 or 2)
- Application Registration Card (ARC)
- Home detention curfew licence
Any of these evidences can be accepted as evidence of identity for council tax. In case you live with your partner, then you also need to provide identity proof of our partner.
Evidence of your National Insurance number
The national insurance number, or NINO is a number used throughout the country in the administration of the national insurance or social security system, and for taxation purposes.
The documents that can be accepted as evidence of your NINO for your council tax are:
- P45 or P60
- Letter from HM Revenue and Customs about tax or tax credit
- Bank statements showing payments by direct debit for class-2 National Insurance contributions
- Benefit payments received showing your National Insurance number on the statement, for example, Incapacity Benefit or State Pension
- Payslips, if it shows your National Insurance number
- salary statement containing your your National Insurance number
- Works pension statement as long as it shows your National Insurance number
- Letter that the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus has sent to you, which cannot be handwritten
- National Insurance number card, not handwritten
In case you live with a partner, you need one document to confirm your NINO and another to confirm that of your partner.
A NINO proof can also be used as your identity proof. But you have to keep in mind that if you give an NINO proof as your identity proof, then you cannot use that same document as your National Insurance number proof.
Evidence of your income
You need any one of the following for your council tax reduction evidence of income and capital:
- Payslips of you and your partner, and any other person living with you. You need to submit the last five payslips if you’re paid weekly, last two if you’re paid monthly or last three if you’re paid fortnightly. All payslips must follow each other, with no gaps
- Latest pension statement
- Student financial support notice
- Your latest trading accounts
- Your latest Child Benefit award letter from the Child Benefit Office showing your current address
- Recent bank or building society statement showing payment of Child Benefit. Your income is not counted from Child Benefit, rather it acts as an evidence that you get Child Benefit for your dependent children proving that they are a part of your household
- Your latest benefit award letter from Jobcentre Plus or The Pension Service
- Tax credit award letter from HM Revenue and Customs
- Bank, building society or post office account passbooks or statements. These statements must show all transactions for the last two full months
- Internet banking statements printed by you if they include the website address, name of the account holder, account number and sort code. Mini statements that just showing a balance are not accepted
- For a post office card account, just your latest statement is accepted
- Share certificates or dividend statements for stocks, shares or bonds
Evidence of all the income
This includes any evidence proving your capital. All the evidences treated under the evidence for income sub-head can be used here.
If you are seldf-employed, you need to provide full trading accounts for the last financial year, or accordingly.
In this case too, if you have a partner, or any other adult living with you, be it grown-up children, relatives or friends, you need to provide documents to confirm their income as well.
Evidence of all savings
This includes the following:
- Documentary evidence of investments made by you or under your name, suc as share certificate or dividend statements
- Documents for any other capital or stocks and shares held by you and your partner
- Bank and building society account books
- Current and savings accounts statement, or passbook
Evidence of your rent
If you pay rent to a private landlord, or any housing association, then you are required to show proof for that.
Evidence of rent can be any of the following:
- Your tenancy agreement
- Your rent book
- Letter from your landlord
- Letter from your agent
Any such document needs to contain all of the following information:
- The full name and business or home address of the owner of the property
- The full name and business address of any managing agent if there is one
- The date when the agreement started
- The amount of rent you are charged currently
- Details of all the facilities that are included in the rent, for example, heating, lighting, cleaning, water rates, meals, personal care, general counselling and support
- The payment intervals of the rent, for example, every week, every month, every four weeks, etc.
Most of the city council websites contain direct link to upload your evidence online. you can attach digital photos or scanned copies of your documents.
Scanned photos uploaded by you must always clearly readable and displayed the correct way up.
The following kinds of documents are usually accepted:
- Accepted image file types: jpeg, gif, png.
- Accepted file types: Word (docx), Acrobat (pdf), Excel (xlsx), Plain text (txt).
- No Zip files.
- Maximum individual file size per document up to 50MB.
If you cannot upload the documents, or in case the documens required are original ones, and when the council demands it, you need to post the documents at the mail address provided.
Requirements according to different councils
Different city councils require different proofs, out of the kinds mentioned above. What evidence you need to submit for your council tax reduction, therefore, depends upon the area you live in. the following section discusses a few councils and their required evidences.
Cyngor Abertawe Swansea Council
To support your claim for council tax, you might be asked the proof of the following:
- Proof of identity and national insurance number
- Proof of income
- Proof of savings and investments
- Proof of rent
Glasgow City Council
The documents needed depend upon you and your partner’s income and circumstances. Generally, the following evidences are needed:
- Your and your partner’s identity and National Insurance number.
- Evidence of where you live.
- Your rent proof.
- Your and your partner’s income evidence.
- Proof for your Savings & investments.
- Evidence proving your and your partner’s Occupational pension.
- The circumstances of other people who live with you.
The kinds of evidences required by the Hackney council are:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of National Insurance number
- Proof of earnings
- Documents proving Self-employment
- Personal / work pensions documents
- Evidence for Social security benefits / tax credits
- Savings / capital evidence
- Rent proof
Manchester City Council
The Manchester city council requires the following evidence for housing benefit and council tax support:
- Evidence of identity
- Evidence of National Insurance Security number
- Evidence of income and capital
- Evidence of rent
It requires you to provide evidence when there is a change that might affect your benefit.
The website provides links to upload online evidence, while in case of original documents, you need to post them to the address of the council.
Wandsworth Borough Council
This council requires you to provide two forms of identification, one of which should have your National Insurance number (NINO) on it. If you have a partner, you will be required to provide evidence of their identity as well.
All documents required by it are original, which are to be dropped off in the drop off box in the Customer Centre reception. These documents are scanned by the council and sent back to you by post. You can also make an appointment to bring in your documents.
In case of online documents, you can mail them at the mail id [email protected]
The list of documents is also available on the application form. You should not delay in making a claim or award application if you do not have all the supporting information that the form asks for, otherwise you may lose benefit or reduction.
West Northamptonshire Council
You need to provide the following documents if you qualify as a resident under this council:
- documents to us that confirm things about you, your partner and children (if appropriate) when making a new claim or reporting a change in your circumstances.
- Original documents for identity proof
- Documents for national insurance number
- Documents for earnings
- Evidence for capital, savings and investments
- Evidence for Benefits, allowances, tax credits or pensions
- Proof of Other income received
- Proof of Other money paid out
- Evidence of a private rent and tenancy
The benefit assessor might request other information too, while handling your claim, depending on your specific circumstances, if they see it necessary.
This blog answered the question “What evidence do I need for council tax reduction?” It discussed what evidences you need for council tax in detail. It enumerated lists of documents that might be accepted as identity proof, NINO proof, rent proof, and for your income and savings. The list provided is not an exhaustive one, and you can provide other documents that act as a proof of what is required, than the ones mentioned in this blog. The article specified the methods of submitting these documents as well.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any query or suggestions, or comment your questions below, in the comment section.
What information is needed for council tax?
The information that you need for council tax is your name and address, details of anyone over 18 years of age living with you, and the details of the property concerned.
How do I ask for a reduction in council tax?
You need to check whether you are eligible for council tax redemption, under any of the criterion or not, then you need to directly contact your local council to claim a reduction in your council tax.
Who is eligible for council tax support?
Anyone who is a pensioner, or is low on income, or has a disability and requires extra living space for it, or is suffering from severe mental impairment and receives a qualifying disability benefit, is eligible for council tax support.
Is council tax reduction a benefit?
Yes, council tax support, or council tax reduction is a benefit to help people who are on a low income or are claiming certain benefits to pay their Council Tax bill.
Do pensioners get reduced council tax?
Yes, pensioners get reduced council tax. If you are a pensioner living alone, you can get a discount to apply to the whole of your council tax bill.