Amendments to council tax and council tax support

With the impact of Covid-19 affecting many incomes, some local authorities have quickly introduced new rules affecting their individual Council Tax Support (CTS) and Council Tax Reduction (CTR) schemes in 2020/21.

Am I entitled to a council tax reduction?

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to help from your council towards paying your council tax.

Local authorities in England run their own local schemes for help with council tax. These are called Council Tax Reduction (CTR) schemes and are also sometimes known as Council Tax Support (CTS).

More information can be found here on the Citizen's Advice website (link opens in new window).

What is Council Tax Reduction and could I be eligible for help with paying my council tax?

Depending on where you live, Council Tax Reduction (CTR) may be:

a discount worked out as a percentage of your council tax bill
a discount of an amount set out in the scheme
a discount equal to the whole amount of the council tax bill - so that the amount payable is nil. (Source: Citizen's Advice)

Please note: CTR/CTS is not awarded automatically and you must claim it from your local authority. You should contact your local council directly to discuss if you might be entitled to a discount on your council tax.

What are the changes to CTR/CTS for 2020/2021?

Local authorities have introduced different rules!

Dependent on your area and your circumstances, the new rules introduced because of COVID-19 may mean that even if you were paying part of your council tax bill before April 2020, you could now receive a maximum Council Tax Support award of 100% of your council tax charge. In other areas, you may receive an automatic discount off your council tax bill (which could be higher than pre-April 2020) but you may still need to contribute.

If you have any questions, you will need to contact your local authority or get in touch with Progress Housing Group's Financial Inclusion Team.

Check with your local authority

Website links to the three local authorities (where most Progress Housing Group general needs tenancies are located) are included below (all links open in new windows). It is unclear at present if the CTR/CTS changes introduced because of COVID-19 will continue past the 2020/21 council tax year.

It is possible that some people will now have a £0 council tax bill in 2020/21 but you should check any revised bill and keep up with required payment arrangements in the meantime.

South Ribble Borough Council

Chorley Council

Fylde Council

Questions for Progress Housing Group's Financial Inclusion Team (FIT)?

Please contact our FIT team who will be happy to advise you on what we know so far about the Council Tax Support (CTS) and Council Tax Reductions (CTR) schemes in 2020/21 on 03333 204 555.