Council Tax rebate

Residents that qualified for the £150 Energy Rebate Payment and who were in receipt of Council Tax Support on 01/04/2022 will be receiving a £34 top up from our discretionary energy funding. No action is required. Payment will be made automatically within the next 7 days where we hold bank account details, if no details are held the credit will be applied to your Council Tax bill.

Residents in Council Tax bands E-H that were in receipt of Council Tax Support, Disabled Relief or Severe Mental Impairment Exemption on 01/04/2022 that failed to qualify for the £150 Energy Rebate Payment will receive £150 from the discretionary energy funding. No action is required. Payment will be made automatically within the next 7 days where we hold bank account details, if no details are held the credit will be applied to your Council Tax bill.

Support with cost of living

Households in England, which are in council tax bands A-D, will receive a £150 rebate. The rebate will be made directly by local authorities from April. This will not need to be repaid.

On top of this rebate, discretionary funding will also be provided to support vulnerable people and individuals on low incomes that do not pay Council Tax, or that pay Council Tax for properties in Bands E-H.

Factsheets explaining the Energy Bills Rebate and how the government is helping with the cost of living are available online.

How will the Council Tax rebate work?

  • Households in England in Council Tax Bands A-D will be eligible for a £150 rebate in April this year. Their property must meet all the following criteria:
    • It is in bands A to D. This includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation of band D, as a result of the disabled band reduction scheme.
    • It is someone’s sole or main residence.
    • It is a chargeable dwelling, or in exemption classes N (student dwellings), S (properties occupied by under-18s only), U (properties occupied by people who are severely mentally impaired) or W (occupied annexes).
  • The rebate will be made directly by local authorities. This won’t have to be repaid. All payments made under the Council Tax Rebate or Discretionary Fund are non-taxable. Support can be accessed by those who have no recourse to public funds, other than those who do not have leave to enter or remain in the UK and fall within one of the cohorts listed under Schedule 3 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. All payments made under the Council Tax Rebate or Discretionary Fund are to be treated as local welfare provision and therefore will not be taken into account in the calculation of income-related benefits.
  • 80% of households in England are in Council Tax Bands A-D, so will benefit from this rebate. The rebate will not be paid for second homes or empty properties.
  • For those who need help with their energy bills but are not eligible – such as households on income support in higher bands (E-H) or with properties in bands A-D that are exempt from council tax – local authorities will receive discretionary funding to help.
    • Councils can determine locally how best to make use of this funding to support those suffering financial hardship as a result of the rising cost of living. This could include households living in property valued in bands E to H that are on income related benefits or those where the energy bills payers are not liable for council tax. Where councils consider it the best means of supporting those in financial difficulty, they can use the discretionary fund to offer carefully targeted ‘top-up’ payments to the most vulnerable households in bands A to D (for example, those on means tested benefits), or to offer discretionary support exceeding £150 per household.
  • Residents will be invited to apply for discretionary payments of £150.
  • Where the council is aware that the liable council tax payer does not occupy the property, they will not be eligible.
  • Where a property is in exemption classes N (other than HMOs for council tax purposes), S, U or W and the council is able to contact an occupant, the occupant will be eligible for support.
  • A property that meets all the criteria, but has a nil council tax liability as a result of local council tax support, will be eligible.
  • A property that has no permanent resident and is someone’s second home will not be eligible.
  • An unoccupied property (for the purposes of calculating council tax) will not be eligible.
  • Government guidance means that rebate payments can be distributed up to November 2022, so residents in Band A to D properties who do not pay Council Tax by direct debit, and residents eligible for discretionary payments, will have a window of opportunity of a number of months to make online applications. Both these groups of residents are expected to total around 20,000 households in Reading.

How to apply

The application process for the main scheme closed on 31 August 2022.

If you were eligible but did not apply for the scheme by 31 August, a payment of £150 will was applied to your Council Tax account by 30 September 2022.

If you believe you are entitled but have not been awarded the main scheme payment, please email council.tax@reading.gov.uk by 21 November 2022. Please provide your name, account number, address and contact details. We will contact you to arrange for an application to be submitted.

The application process for the discretionary scheme is open until 21 November 2022

We are responsible for making payments to eligible residents and has been allocated to following levels of funding from central government:

  • Main Scheme £8,959,500
  • Discretionary scheme £299,550

We have set aside £42,000 to make awards of £150 Council Tax Rebate (Energy Grant) Discretionary Scheme payments to individuals who do not qualify for a Main Scheme payment, where they are the liable taxpayer, the subject property is in band E-H, and it is their sole or main residence and they:

  • are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on the 1 April 2022
  • are in receipt of a Disabled Band Reduction on the 1 April 2022 or
  • are exempt from Council Tax under class U due to a determination of being Severely Mentally Impaired in accordance with The Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992 (as amended)

We have set aside £232,500 to provide a £30 top up to households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction on the 1 April 2022 in Council Tax bands A–D

Customers who qualify under these criteria and pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit will receive payment directly into their account, all other customers will have a credit applied to their council tax account. A refund of the credit can be made upon request. There is no need to apply, payments will be made automatically.

We have set aside £25,050 to allow for applications to be made for a single payment of £150 Council Tax Rebate (Energy Grant) Discretionary Scheme payment to:

  • Any household in bands A – D that have not received support through the Main Scheme, who is not liable for council tax but who can provide evidence to the council that they are directly responsible for energy bills (gas, electricity etc) and are resident. Landlords will not be eligible to apply. Evidence of a utility bill in the applicant’s name will be required.

The application process for this criteria will be available from 1 November 2022 to 21 November 2022, you can apply here.