This blog answers the question “” Which cases have qualified for council tax reduction?” It covers the criteria for a case to be approved for a reduction in council tax and under what sections of the law this is covered. It also mentions cases where the council tax cut is not applicable.

Which Cases Have Qualified For Council Tax Reduction?

The below cases have qualified for council tax reduction:

  • Being a widow or a widower (from the Second World War or any other War Disablement Pension). You are entitled to the Bereavement Support Payment as council tax support following the death of your spouse.
  • Living in a retirement home or living alone on your property
  • Being mentally or physically impaired. A reduction of up to 50% on your bill if all the residents are suffering from a disability.
  • low-income households
  • Pensioners whose income is not more than the amount applicable for tax reduction.

The applicable amounts for a pensioner for a week are the sum of the following amounts as they apply:

An amount in respect of his personal allowance. Any amount of premiums that may be applicable to him. Amounts applicable to family members, children, spouse

What cases are excluded from council tax reduction?

The below cases have been excluded for council tax reduction:

  • Persons being treated as not being in Great Britain (If the person is not habitually resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland)

A person falls within this sub-paragraph:

  • if the person is a Crown servant or a member of Her Majesty’s forces posted overseas
  • A family member of a relevant person of Northern Ireland
  • A Person recorded by the Secretary of State as a Refugee

Persons subject to immigration control are not entitled to a reduction under the tax council reduction scheme. “Person subject to immigration control” means the following people :

  • requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but does not have it;
  • has leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom which is subject to a condition that he does not have recourse to public funds;
  • has leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom given as a result of a maintenance undertaking

Any person whose capital exceeds £16000 is excluded from this scheme.

Capital for these purposes is to be calculated in accordance of Part 10 of this scheme

The income and capital of any partner of the applicant is to be treated as income and capital of the applicant except when paragraph 37 applies where an applicant or partner of the applicant is married polygamously to two or more people in his family.

Circumstances in which the income and capital of non-dependent people are to be treated as that of the applicants.

  • Where the non-dependant and an applicant have entered into arrangements in order to take advantage of this scheme and the non-dependant has more income or capital than the applicant.

Except where the applicant is a pensioner and is on guarantee credit 

  • The applicant is not a pensioner and is on income support, an income-based jobseekers allowance or an income related employment and support allowance
  • Where an applicant is treated as possessing income and capital belonging to a non-dependant
  • Students (Full-time students and students who are not treated as being in Great Britain)

Is payment on the death of the person entitled to tax reduction?

Yes, the payment on the death of a person is entitled to tax reduction. Where the person entitled to any reduction under this scheme has died and it is impossible to award the reduction which is due in the form of a reduction in the council tax for which he was liable the authority must make payment of the amount of the reduction to his executor or administrator. 

Where before the deceased’s death a sum in excess of his liability under the Act (including relevant costs paid by him) in respect to one of the matters mentioned as his due liabilities has been paid, his executor or administrator shall be entitled to the sum

Council tax reduction is also possible in the following situations

  • Home Employment as a caregiver to a disabled resident
  • Care expenses for young children (under Child Benefit)
  • Dependant Children pursuing their studies
  • Union Dues
  • The Energy Bills Rebate  (worth £9.1 billion)
  • service of driving the personal vehicle of dependent persons, from home to work, at the place of vacation, for administrative procedures, provided that this service is included in a service offer including a set of activities carried out at home; 
  • accompaniment of children and the elderly or disabled in their travels outside their home (walks, transport, acts of everyday life), provided that this service is included in a service offer for disabled persons and included in a set of activities carried out at home;
  •  home aesthetic care for dependent people;
  •  maintenance, upkeep, and temporary vigilance, at home, of the main and secondary residence; 
  • administrative assistance at home; 

If you are domiciled in Great Britain for tax purposes, you can benefit from a tax reduction if you incur expenses for personal services rendered to you in Great Britain. 

The person providing the services may be employed at your main or secondary residence or at the residence of one of your ascendants fulfilling the conditions to benefit from the Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Is council tax reduced for donations to assistance organizations for people in difficulty? 

 Yes, council tax is reduced for donations to charity (assistance) organizations. 

These donations are payments to associations located in Great Britain which provide free meals or medical care or which promote housing for people in difficulty, in the UK and abroad and to non-profit organizations that carry out concrete actions in favor of victims of domestic violence, which offer them support or which help to promote their rehousing.

 EXAMPLE Missions to help people in difficulty provided by the Marie Curie, the Princes Trust, the British Red Cross, etc. Enter box 7UD of 2042 the sums paid in 2020 to organizations helping people in difficulty or organizations fighting against domestic violence.

 You will benefit from a tax reduction equal to 75% of the payments withheld within the limit of  £1,000 (i.e. a maximum tax reduction of  £750).

The video in the following url shows a client story in  Barnet Council’s council tax reduction scheme. Its shows how citizens benefit from this rebate in practice:

The following youtube video highlights the benefits to consumers of the Energy Bills Rebate (2022-23) worth £9.1 billion :

What is the Armed Forces Tax Rebate?

Members of the British Armed Forces are entitled to a council tax refund for covering military expenses such as the following:

  • Travel expenses for overseas postings
  • Military training before and after mobilisation for duty
  • Expenses to obtain enhancing qualifications such as career courses
  • Expenses on necessary food items.
  • Expenses incurred when posted on temporary military duty
  • Training costs of military courses attended at universities

What information do I need to provide to claim the Armed Forces Tax Rebate?

To claim a refund (Armed Forces Tax Rebate) on your tax from HMRC you need to provide the following information:

  • The names of all the bases you have been deployed at 
  • Your monthly salary receipts
  • Other supporting evidence to your claim of performing these expenses on job related activities
  • Information about your income and accommodation situation which preferably backs your claim for this refund. It lets HMRC know that you don’t have enough money leftover to bear your personal military expenses.

Can British Armed Forces Personnel claim a council tax refund for their meals?

Yes, British Armed Forces personnel can claim a council tax refund to spend on their meals. Meal expenses are allowed when army members are deployed to a temporary base. Some requirements to keep in mind if you plan to claim this tax rebate include :

  • Keeping receipts of the expenses you incur on meals. For each time you eat at your Mess you need to carefully store and compile records of your bills. It would be quite haphazard and difficult to claim a tax refund on something you don’t have quantifiable evidence of.
  • You can also get copies of your food expense receipts from your administration department
  • For members of the Armed Forces on the Hungry Soldiers Scheme, food expenses are deducted as arrears from their salary.
  • You must consult Rift Tax Refunds for council tax refunds on food expenses for Armed forces personnel

Who Is Eligible For A Council Tax Exemption?

The following people are eligible for a Council Tax Exemption:

  • Someone moving into a care home and leaving their primary residence unoccupied
  • A property that is occupiable because of damage due to fire, flooding or vandalism and is being actively repaired (for a period of 12 months to 2 years) The owner is eligible for a council tax exemption when they are able to provide proof of the damage and repairs
  • Property of a person in detention, where the sentence is a long term one (and the property is also left vacant)
  • The property is owned by a person who has declared bankruptcy. (for as long as his/her status remains so)
  • The property is occupied only by residents aged under 18 years.
  • The owner of a property used for UK armed forces occupation purposes.
  • For a property that is occupied by all full time students, the owner is eligible for a council tax exemption

Conclusion :

This blog post addressed the question “Which cases have qualified for council tax reduction?” The 5 main groups of people who qualify for Council Tax Reduction are Low Income Households, People living in retirement homes, people owning unfurnished premises, on union dues for pensioners. The article also explores the situations where council tax reduction is inapplicable. Calculation of this tax cut is also looked into in this blog

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Which Cases Have Qualified For Council Tax Reduction? 

I am receiving Universal Credit (UC) . What changes do I need to tell you about?

If you are getting council tax support you’ll need to inform us if your UC ends and you will need to give proof of your income and capital. If you are on UC and are still getting your rent paid by Housing Benefit you will need to tell us if your UC claim stops

My benefit award isn’t right because it’s not showing an allowance for all my children, what should I do?

If you have more than 2 children and your benefit has been restricted to the 2 child limit we can look at this again but you will need to provide the pages of your last Tax credit award letter. If you are receiving Child Tax Credit for more than 2 children, we can match this to your benefit award.

I have had a change in my circumstances. What do I need to do?

You should check for the changes you need to report at (our link and email address)

You need to provide evidence of the change you are reporting e.g payment of child care costs or the student status of your non dependant. It may take up to 14 days to deal with your change but it will take effect from the date you told us about the change

Citations:

West Northhampshire Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2022-23 (156 pages)

Support for energy bills – the council tax rebate 2022-23: billing authority guidance

Retrieved from 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-council-tax-rebate-2022-23-billing-authority-guidance/support-for-energy-bills-the-council-tax-rebate-2022-23-billing-authority-guidance

Armed Forces Covenant UK

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