Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Household Financial Support

Council Tax Deferral Scheme

Residents who are facing difficulties paying their Council Tax bills are being offered a variety of temporary options to defer their payments for a short time.

This scheme is open to anyone who is struggling to pay their Council Tax for the current year (2020/21) because their income (and/or that of their partner) has reduced by 20% or more as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

It's important to stress that this is a deferral, not a discount or cancellation of payments. If you choose to defer Council Tax you will benefit from not having to make payments during a short-term reduction in income, but you will still be required to pay the same total annual bill, albeit over a different timescale.

What is the Council Tax Deferral Scheme?

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax for the current year (2020/21) as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, you can apply to:

  • change the date on which you make your payments
  • apply to re-schedule your payments over a different time period in 2020/21.

For example: Currently set up to pay April 2020 to January 2021. Would like to change this to pay June 2020 to March 2021.

Who can apply?

This scheme is open to anyone who is struggling to pay their Council Tax for the current year (2020/21) because their income (and/or that of their partner) has reduced by 20% or more as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

This includes people who are/were employed or self employed, as well as people who are reliant on another source of income that has since reduced by more than 20% as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Don't worry if you're not sure whether your income has reduced by 20% or more. We can work this out for you based on your previous and current income, which you will be asked to provide when you apply.

How do I apply?

The quickest way to apply is to complete a Council Tax Deferral application form online.

Apply online now

If you are not able to apply online, you can call 01709 336000 our Customer Services team who will be happy to help and assist you with your application.

What will I need to provide?

We will need to ask you about your income.

You will be asked to provide an estimate of your income before your circumstances changed, and an estimate of what it is now. You can provide this information as a weekly, fortnight or monthly amount. This will help us work out if your income has reduced by more than 20%.

We will also ask you to:

  • tell us about the reason for your change in circumstances (and that of your partner too if you are making a joint application)
  • choose a deferred payment option that you think best suits your situation
  • provide evidence to support your application. For example, photo or screen shot of redundancy notice, furlough letter, email from employer, copy of you accounts of self employed.

Hardship Fund

The Government has announced the creation of a £500m Hardship Fund for local authorities to administer, providing support to “economically vulnerable people and households”.

The Government has now provided the Council with the guidance necessary for the Council to begin to administer a scheme. The guidance requires that all working age recipients of Local Council Tax Support will receive additional Council Tax support of at least £150. The Council is then able to use the remaining funds to provide support to new claimants, suffering financial hardship as a result of Covid-19.

The Council’s Hardship Fund scheme:

  • All current Working Age recipients of Local Council Tax Support will receive additional Council Tax Support of £200, to be deducted from their 2020/21 Council Tax bill
  • Any new recipients with eligible claims for Council Tax Support, up to and including 31st May 2020, will receive additional Council Tax Support of £200 to be deducted from their 2020/21 Council Tax bill
  • Where the 2020/21 Council Tax bill is less than £200, the bill will be reduced to zero.
  • Where a 2020/21 Council Tax bill has been paid or partially paid and the application of the additional support generates a credit, a refund will be issued.
  • New bills will be issued to reflect the additional Council Tax support.
  • The position will be reviewed at the end of May in order to determine whether any changes to the scheme are required including whether the end date for eligibility should be extended.

For those already in receipt of Local Council Tax Support, you do not need to contact the Council we will apply the additional support as soon as possible.

If your circumstances have changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, such as you’ve lost a significant part of your household’s income, you may be entitled to Council Tax Support. For any new Council Tax Support claimants, please fill out the Council Tax Support form:

Council Tax Support Form