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.
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you must still make a separate application to Fife Council for Council Tax Reduction.
On the 1st April 2017 the Scottish Government changed the way Council Tax for properties in Bands E – H was calculated. The change meant people living in these properties pay more Council Tax. 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 Customer service centre 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 below.
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 (for example 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.
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.
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 Customer service centre.
If you choose to return your evidence to a Customer service centre, 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.