Council Tax Reduction

What is Council Tax Reduction (CTR)?

Council Tax Reduction is a reduction on your council tax that you may be entitled to if you are on a low income. Your local authority runs the Council Tax Reduction scheme in your area. The CTR scheme was introduced from 1 April 2013 to replace Council Tax Benefit (CTB), which has been abolished by the UK Government as part of its welfare reform programme.

Although the Scottish Government has overall responsibility for making the regulations for the new CTR scheme, it is for each local authority to administer it for their area. Any queries on CTR should be directed to your local authority. What follows are some frequently asked questions about CTR and the answers (source: Scottish Government website).

Who can get CTR?

Anyone who has low or no income and who is responsible for paying the Council Tax (CT) on a property may be entitled to CTR. However, if you (and your partner) have capital of £16,000 or over, you cannot get CTR even if you have no income (unless you are receiving guaranteed pension credit).

How do I apply for CTR?

As CTR is administered by local authorities, you should contact the local authority for the area thatyou live in.

I used to get Council Tax Benefit (CTB). Do I need to apply for CTR?

No. Anyone who got CTB on 31 March 2013 was automatically deemed to have made an application for CTR. This also applied if you were getting CTB but it had been suspended. If you had asked for a review or appeal against a decision not to award CTB, you were also deemed to have made an application for CTR.

What information do I need to apply?

The local authority you apply to will give you the details of the information you need to provide. Examples of what you might need are: details of any income & capital you have, or details of whether anyone else lives with you. Income could include any wages or salary, certain benefit income and pensions*. Capital could include any savings, investments and shares*, but does not include the property you live in or any other personal possessions. (*These are not exhaustive lists)

How will I find out if I get CTR?

The local authority will send you another Council Tax bill. This will show you how much Council Tax you need to pay, after any CTR has been taken off.

How will I be paid my CTR?

You will not be paid CTR - instead, the reduction will be taken off your Council Tax bill so you have less Council Tax to pay.

What do I do if I think the decision is wrong?

First of all, you should get in touch with the local authority and ask them to look at (review) the decision again. This must be done in writing. If you still think the decision is wrong, you can appeal the decision. The local authority will give you more information on this when they let you know what has happened with your review.

My situation has changed. Do I need to tell anyone?

Yes. You need to tell the local authority of any changes that might affect how much CTR you can get, and you should do so as quickly as possible. If the change means that you can get more CTRbut you delay telling the local authority, they may not be able to take the change into effect from the date it happened. If the change means you should get less CTR but you do not tell the local authority, it may mean that the authority charges a penalty on top of your Council Tax.

So what types of changes do I need to tell the local authority about?

You should let the local authority know of any change which may affect how much CTR you can get. This includes increasing or decreasing hours of work, or starting or stopping a job, having someone move in with you - even if you are not in a relationship with them - or someone moving out. You should also tell the authority if you get extra capital - such as from someone who has died.

My relative/friend needs help. Can I apply for CTR on their behalf?

If you have a Power of Attorney, Guardianship or have been appointed as Judicial Factor for someone, and that appointment allows you to do so, you can apply for CTR for that person. The local authority may need to see the document that gives you the power to do this. If you do not have one of the above, or something similar, you cannot apply on behalf of someone else.

Further information on the CTR scheme

The Scottish Government has pages of advice and guidance about the Council Tax Reduction scheme on its website. Go to and search for Council Tax Reduction.

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