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Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is a means tested entitlement available to people who are responsible for paying council tax.  You can apply for Council Tax Reduction if you rent or own your home or live rent free.  We work out how much your bill will be reduced by looking at the;

  • amount of money you receive.
  • amount of savings and investments you have.
  • circumstances and income of people who live with you.


If your savings and investments are over £16000 you will not be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

Important Changes from 1st April 2017:

From 1st April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the way Council Tax for properties in Bands E – H is calculated (external site).  The changes mean people living in these properties will have more Council Tax to pay.  If you are on a low income you may be entitled to receive help with these extra charges, even if you didn’t qualify before.  Single person households with net income of up to £321 per week (approx £16,750 per year) and all other households with net income of up to £479 per week (approx £25,000 per year) are eligible to apply for a full exemption from the increased charge through the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

If your savings and investments are over £16,000 you will not be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

Second Adult Reduction

If you do not qualify for Council Tax Reduction but have a second adult over 18 in the property who is not your partner and is on a low income you can apply for a Second Adult Reduction (SAR).  Second Adult Reduction can only be awarded if the other adult over 18;

  • does not pay rent for living in your home.
  • is not your spouse or partner.
  • has a low gross income and are not counted as a disregarded person for council tax purposes.


Check if you qualify

Enter your details into the Online Calculator to find out if you qualify and to see the amount of reduction you may get.  Please note this is an estimate and you will be given an exact amount when your application has been processed.

If the calculator shows you don’t qualify but you live in a band E – H property and your income is below the amounts shown above you may still qualify for an exemption from the increased charges.

How to apply


When you apply for a Council Tax Reduction, you will be asked to provide evidence to support your application.  All documents, certificates and evidence must be originals. Your documents can be handed into a local office by appointment, although this is not always necessary, this will make sure you receive the best possible service.  To arrange an appointment please call 03451 55 11 55.  Alternatively, you can send them to the Benefits and Council Tax Team.  Find out what we will accept as evidence.

If you have applied for a benefit with the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) they will ask if you wish to apply for Council Tax Reduction.  If you said ‘Yes’ the DWP may pass your information onto the Benefits & Council Tax Team, however you still need to make an application to Fife Council.

Council Tax Reduction is normally awarded from the Monday after the date you apply. If you apply for Council Tax Reduction within one month of starting other benefits ie Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Related Employment Support Allowance, then your reduction will start from the Monday after the date your entitlement to these benefits began.

Reporting changes

If you are applying for a Council Tax Reduction you must tell us at once about any change in circumstances you or the people living with you may have.

Some changes may mean you are entitled to a higher reduction, but others may mean you receive a lower amount or you may no longer be entitled to a reduction .  Find out more about reporting changes.

Backdating

Your entitlement will usually start on the Monday after we receive your application.  If you would like it to start from an earlier date, you must have a good reason for not applying earlier. We can consider backdating your application for up to 1 month.

If you want us to consider backdating, you must write to us giving your reasons for not applying at the appropriate time. The reasons you give must apply throughout the period which you are applying for.

If you have reached State Pension Credit qualifying age, then your application automatically covers the last 3 months from the date it is received (provided you are due to pay Council Tax during that period). If you reach State Pension Credit qualifying age within that period it will only be paid from then.

When you make a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, your claim should be supported with evidence. You should provide this evidence within 14 days to us at the address below, or to a Local Office.  

If you choose to return your evidence to a Local Office, we recommend you make an appointment. Although it is not always necessary, this will make sure you receive the best possible service. To arrange an appointment please call 03451 55 11 55.

Benefits and Council Tax Team

PO BOX 18015
North Street
Glenrothes
KY7 5YJ
 

Evidence

Evidence of identity and National Insurance Number (NINO)

  • National insurance number card
  • Valid passport
  • Social security award Letters
  • Photo ID card with signature
  • Driving licence
  • Birth or marriage certificate
  • EEC identity card
  • Tax credits award letters


Evidence of where you live

  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement


Evidence of unearned income

  • Jobcentre Plus award letter
  • Pension Credit award letter
  • Tax Credit award letter
  • Pension statement
  • Letter from Child Support Agency or Legal Agreement
  • Universal Credit award letter


Evidence of earnings

  • 5 consecutive weekly payslips, or
  • 3 consecutive fortnightly payslips, or
  • 2 consecutive monthly or four weekly payslips, or
  • A certificate of earnings completed and stamped by the employer


Evidence of capital

  • Bank and building society statements showing the last 2 months transactions and current balance
  • Pass book
  • Post Office book
  • Premium bonds
  • National Savings Certificates
  • Stocks and shares certificates
  • Land and property - proof of ownership and mortgage statements.  If the property is up for sale,  provide copy of estate agents schedule. 

 

Council Tax Reduction - Non Dependant Deductions

If you have a non dependant living with you such as an adult son, daughter, relative or friend, we will take fixed amounts from your Council Tax Reduction award.  This is based on the gross weekly income of the non-dependant and the amounts are given below.
We take deductions regardless of whether the non dependant contributes to your household or not. 

Circumstances 2016/17 Weekly
Aged 25+ receiving Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) / Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) Nil
Aged 25+ receiving Universal Credit with no earned income  Nil
Aged under  25 receiving Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) / Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (assessment phase) Nil
Aged under 25 receiving Universal Credit with no earned income Nil
Aged 18+ not working £3.90
Person receiving Pension Credit Nil
Working with gross income less that £132.99 with or without Universal Credit £3.90
Working with gross income between £133.00 - £194.99 with or without Universal Credit £3.90
Working with gross income between £195.00 - £252.99 with or without Universal Credit £7.75
Working with gross income between £253.00 - £337.99 with or without Universal Credit £7.75
Working with gross income between £338.00 - £419.99 with or without Universal Credit £9.85
Working with gross income over £420.00 with or without Universal Credit £11.80
 

 

Council Tax Reduction - Further Review (Appealing a Decision)

If after receiving a review decision by us and you remain dissatisfied then you can seek an independent ruling from the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel (CTRRP) who will conduct a further review.  You must do this within 42 days of receiving Fife Council’s review decision.


Remember a further review by the CTRRP can only be requested after the relevant local authority has carried out an internal review.

The only exception to this is if you do not receive a written response from us within two months of the original request. If this occurs you or your representative can request an independent ruling from the CTRRP.

The CTRRP is an independent body which is an addition to the Scottish Tribunals Service, providing an additional review service to safeguard individual’s rights to administrative justice when assessing an individual’s eligibility for Council Tax Reduction.   They will consider the facts presented to them and give an independent ruling as to whether the decision made by your local authority is correct or not.

An application for further review should be made directly by you or your representative in writing to the:

Council Tax Reduction Review Panel
Europa Building
450 Argyle Street
Glasgow G2 8LH

Further information, including application forms, are available at:


Please Remember

Many decisions can be revised once additional information is provided meaning that a review may not be necessary.  If you receive your Council Tax Reduction notification and you think the reduction applied is incorrect it is always best to ask for us to reconsider the decision first. To do this you can write to us or email us within two months of your CTR notification at benctax@fife.gov.uk telling us why you think the award is wrong.

 


Council Tax Enquiries
Contact Council Tax Enquiries online

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