Council Tax rebate

Please note we are currently receiving a high volume of calls in respect of the Council Tax Energy Rebate.

Payments of £150 have commenced for those we hold direct debit details for. This rebate does not need to be paid back.

An estimated 40,000 residents will receive these payments. The process will run for a period of up to two weeks

Residents that do not pay by direct debit will be invited to apply for their payments via a dedicated link. The online application will be added to this site when this process begins, currently expected to be in two weeks.

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.
  • It is expected that most people who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit will receive this money from April. For households in Bands A-D who do not pay by Direct Debit, there will be a process to make a claim. Councils are encouraged to take additional steps to prevent erroneous payments, for example waiting to pay households for whom they hold a live direct debit instruction until the first Council Tax payment for 2022-23 has been taken and cleared on the given live instruction. Payments are commencing in May due to the various Direct Debit payment dates we offer through April.
  • Once the majority of payments have been distributed using direct debit details, the Council will begin the process for making payments to residents who live in Band A to D and do not pay their Council Tax by direct debit. These residents will be invited to apply for their payments via a dedicated link. The online application will be added to this site when this process begins, currently expected to be in two weeks. It will be widely publicised at the time and over the following weeks and months.
  • 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. This application process is expected to begin following approval of the discretionary application criteria later this month.
  • 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 October 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.