Guidance

Council tax rebate: factsheet

This factsheet provides answers to the most frequently asked questions by households about the council tax rebate.

Applies to England

Higher than expected global energy and goods prices following the pandemic have already led to an unavoidable increase in the cost of living across the world. The government understands the pressures people are facing and has put a package of support in place worth over £22 billion in 2022-23, to help with the cost of energy bills and to ensure people keep more of their money.

As part of its targeted response to rising energy bills, the government has introduced a £150 council tax rebate. This will mean that council tax costs will not rise for the majority of people, including those on the lowest incomes. This is alongside a £200 reduction in energy bills from this October.

Find more information on the government’s support.

1. What is the council tax rebate?

The council tax rebate will provide a payment of £150 to households living in council tax bands A – D. Payments will be made from April 2022 and will not need to be paid back.

2. Will I be eligible for the council tax rebate?

Households are eligible where, on 1 April 2022, they are liable for council tax on a property which is in council tax bands A-D and which they live in as their main home. This includes those who receive Local Council Tax Support, even if their council tax bill for the year is less than £150.

Where the occupants of a property in bands A - D are exempt from council tax on 1 April 2022, they will also be eligible if the property falls in one of the following classes of exemption: Class N (students – other than HMOs for council tax purposes), Class S (under 18s), Class U (people with a severe mental impairment), Class W (annexes occupied by a dependent relative)

3. How can I apply for the council tax rebate?

If you live in an eligible property and you pay your council tax by direct debit, your local council will make the payment directly to your bank account, starting from April 2022. You do not need to do anything in the meantime.

If you live in an eligible property and you do not pay your council tax by direct debit, your local council will contact you from April to arrange a method for paying the rebate. You do not need to do anything in the meantime.

Claims for the rebate can be processed up until 30 September 2022.

4. How do I know what council tax band I am in?

If you are not sure which council tax band your property is in, you can check by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands

5. Who is my local council?

If you are not sure who your local council is, you can check by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

6. Should I have received the rebate as a discount on my council tax bill?

The rebate will be provided as a separate payment, rather than as part of your council tax bill.

This allows the support to be provided to households more quickly, rather than the benefit being spread as a discount across the usual 10 or 12 council tax bill instalments during 2022-23. It also means that households that do not pay council tax - for example, if they are exempt or have nil liability - are not disadvantaged.

Where a household is eligible for the rebate and their local council does not already hold payment details as a result of a direct debit instruction, they may offer the option to receive the payment as a council tax account credit.

7. Do I have to pay the £150 back?

No. The £150 council tax rebate does not have to be paid back.

8. What support can I access if I am not eligible for the council tax rebate?

The government has provided all councils in England with funding to provide discretionary support to any household that is in financial need, regardless of council tax band. Each council will develop and publicise eligibility criteria and the claims process for this funding.

9. Who will receive the rebate where an eligible property has multiple residents?

One £150 payment will be made per eligible household (defined as a person or group of people living in a property that attracts a separate council tax bill).

If your household is eligible and you usually pay your council tax by direct debit, payment will be made to the direct debit bank account.

If your household is eligible and you do not pay your council tax by direct debit, you will be invited to nominate a method to receive payment on behalf of the household.

10. Someone else usually pays my council tax on my behalf - will they receive the payment?

No. The rebate is only available to the occupants of an eligible property (even if the council tax bill is usually paid by someone else). If you live in an eligible property and someone else usually pays your council tax bill, your council will contact you to arrange a method for paying your rebate.

11. I live in a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and my landlord is liable for council tax. Will I still be eligible for the rebate?

Where the owner of a property is liable for the council tax (for example in a House in Multiple Occupation or residential care home), no-one will be eligible for the rebate in relation to that property. If you are not the liable council tax payer but are impacted by rising energy costs, you may be able to access support from your council’s discretionary fund.

12. Can I receive the rebate if I have no recourse to public funds?

Yes. The council tax rebate (as part of the Energy Rebate Scheme 2022) is excluded from being considered a public fund under paragraph 6.2(i) of the Immigration Rules. This means that it is available to people 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.

Published 1 April 2022