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Council Tax Reduction - the decision

This advice applies to Scotland

Once the local council has all the information or evidence it needs, it must make a decision on your application for Council Tax Reduction (CTR) as soon as is reasonable.

The local council must tell you in writing when it has made the decision. They will send you a revised Council Tax bill adjusted to show your reduced liability to pay Council Tax if you are entitled to a CTR. This is called a Council Tax demand notice.

The Council Tax bill should contain the following information:

  • your right to ask for a review of the decision
  • information about how the CTR has been calculated.

When does your Council Tax Reduction entitlement start

If you are entitled to a Council Tax Reduction (CTR), the local council will decide on what date your entitlement starts. The reduction in your liability to pay Council Tax should begin from the date of your entitlement to CTR. 

If you become liable for Council Tax for the first time on the property you live in, the reduction cannot be awarded for a date before you became liable.

Your entitlement to CTR is used to reduce the yearly amount of Council Tax on your bill. You might still have to pay some Council Tax in the year, and you will have to make arrangements to pay it.

If there is a delay in starting your Council Tax Reduction

If there is a delay in starting your Council Tax Reduction (CTR) and you cannot afford to pay the full Council Tax in the meantime, you should tell the local council collection department that you have applied for Council Tax Reduction.

It's better to tell them in writing and keep a copy of the letter in case you build up some arrears. If you tell them by phone, keep a record of the time and date of your call and the name of the person you spoke to.

If you disagree with the decision

If you are not satisfied with the decision on your application, you should write to the local council and ask them to review the decision. You should say what you think is wrong. You should do this within 2 months of the date that the local council tells you its decision.

The local council must consider your request for a review and tell you in writing what it decides. The internal review will be conducted by a local council officer, or officers, who had no part in making the initial assessment of your application or circumstances.

If you disagree with the internal review of the decision

If you are still not satisfied when you have received the local council's internal review of its decision, you can ask for an independent review.

There is a time limit for doing this. Find out more about requesting an independent review.

Complaining about a Council Tax Reduction application

As well as asking for the CTR decision to be reviewed, you can also consider making a complaint.

You can complain whether or not you ask for the decision to be looked at again.

Find out more about complaining about a CTR application.

Help challenging a Council Tax Reduction decision

If you think the decision on your Council Tax Reduction application is wrong, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau - where to get advice.

Other help with Council Tax

If you're worried that you will not be able to pay your Council Tax, you may be able to apply for:

  • a discount or reduction off your bill
  • other help to pay the bill.

Find out more about Council Tax.

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