Council Tax Reductions
In certain circumstances you may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax bill. Please read the following information; if you meet the required criteria for a reduction, please complete the relevant application form.
The type of reductions available can be split into four categories:
Please note, if you receive a reduction and your circumstances change this may affect your entitlement. You must notify the Council Tax office of any changes within 21 days of the change to allow the council to independently verify the position. If this does not happen any application may not be dealt with retrospectively. If we know that your discount or exemption is due to end we will send you a revised Council Tax bill nearer the time telling you the new revised amount to pay.
- What is the Council Tax Reduction Scheme?
- Who can claim or apply?
- How to claim or apply
- How much can I receive?
- How your Council Tax Reduction is paid
- What is a ‘non-dependant’?
- What can I do if I disagree with a CTR decision?
- What happens if I go away?
For further information about the Scheme please visit our Scheme for Council Tax Support page.
Council Tax Reduction can help you pay your Council Tax.
- Main Council Tax Reduction – for people with a low income
- Alternative Maximum Council Tax Reduction (commonly known as Second Adult Reduction) – If your income or savings are too high for main Council Tax Reduction, you may be able to get Second Adult Reduction. You can get up to 25 percent off your Council Tax bill if you are the only person responsible for paying Council Tax but share your home with one or more adults who:
- don't pay rent
- aren't your husband, wife or partner
- have a combined weekly income of less than £239 (if you are not a pensioner) or £252.50 (if you are a pensioner).
When you apply for a Council Tax Reduction we will automatically work out which type gives you the most money.
Anyone who is liable to pay Council Tax can apply for a Council Tax Reduction. This includes you if you are:
- a home owner
- renting your home
- anyone else with a Council Tax bill in their name.
If you are having problems paying your rent or Council Tax you should apply for a Council Tax Reduction straight away.
If you (or you and your partner together) have more than £16,000 in savings you will not be entitled to Main Council Tax Reduction, unless you also receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
If you (or you and your partner together) have more than £10,000 in savings you will not be entitled to Main Council Tax Reduction, unless you also receive Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (income related).
If you cannot apply online
- download and complete the Help with your Rent and Council Tax form (PDF, 233KB).
- or call us on 020 8489 2800 to request a form
- or write to us to request a form:
Shared Service Centre | Benefits
PO Box 10505
On the form you must give information about everyone who lives with you. You will also need to tell us about:
- your income
- your savings
- your rent
- the income of other people who live with you
You will also need to provide proof of all these things.
You can claim Housing Benefit or apply for Council Tax Reduction on the same form. If you have not applied online contact us page to see where to send or hand your paper form in.
Waiting to hear about your claim or application
Please wait 14 days before contacting us to find out about your claim or application. See our contact us page for our details.
If you are in doubt about whether you can get support with your Council Tax you should apply anyway. We will tell you as soon as we can if you are entitled.
The rules used to work out your Council Tax Reduction are not the same as those used for Housing Benefit purposes. People who qualify for maximum Housing Benefit may not qualify for maximum Council Tax Reduction.
If you are a pensioner your Council Tax Reduction is based on the total amount of Council Tax you are liable for, minus 20 percent of your excess income and any non-dependant deductions.
If you are not a pensioner your Council Tax Reduction is based on 80.2 percent of the amount of Council Tax you are liable for, minus 20 percent of your excess income and any non-dependant deductions. You must also qualify for entitlement of at least £1.00 a week to be eligible for an award.
Non-Pensioners with a Disability
Some people who are not pensioners may have their Council Tax Reduction based on the total amount of Council Tax they are liable for if they receive a specified disability related income.
If this applies to you, your Council Tax Reduction is based on the total amount of Council Tax you are liable for, minus 20 percent of your excess income and any non-dependant deductions. You must also qualify for entitlement of at least £1.00 a week to be eligible for an award.
A Council Tax Reduction is credited directly to your Council Tax account for the whole financial year. When the Reduction has been credited, you will be sent a new bill. If your Reduction changes during the year, we will send you a revised bill.
A non-dependant is a person who lives in your home on a non-commercial basis. Non-dependants are normally adult children or relatives but they can also be friends or anyone else who lives with you.
We normally reduce your Council Tax Reduction for every non-dependant in your home. We call this a ‘non-dependant deduction’. Your reduction will be reduced for each non-dependant. The amount of deduction depends on their income and circumstances. You must tell us about changes in the circumstances of your non-dependants.
In some cases we will not make a deduction. For example, we will not make a deduction if you or your partner:
- are registered blind, or
- get Disability Living Allowance (care component), or
- get Personal Independence Payment (Daily Living component), or
- get Attendance allowance.
We will not make a deduction if the non-dependant:
- is under 18 years old
- gets a Youth Training Allowance
- has been in an NHS hospital for more than 52 weeks
- is in prison
- normally lives elsewhere
- is a full-time student
- gets Pension Credit
- gets Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- is severely mentally impaired (Council Tax only)
Deduction rates are available on our Non-Dependant Deductions page.
If you disagree with a Council Tax Reduction decision, you must write to us asking us to look at the decision again. You should write to us within one month of the date of our decision letter telling us what you disagree with and why.
Once we have considered your request we will write to you to explain any changes we have made, or to explain why we cannot change our decision.
If you still disagree with our decision, you can appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal for England (external link). The Valuation Tribunal are an independent body.
There are strict time limits for appealing to the Valuation Tribunal:
- If we reply to you within two months, you have a further two months from the date of our reply to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.
- If we do not reply to your dispute within two months of you first contacting us, you can appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal. You must appeal within four months of the date that you disputed our decision.
Information about the rules that apply if you are away from home are on our Temporary Absence page.
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