Apply for council tax reduction

Apply for council tax reduction

Who can apply for Council Tax Reduction and how to make a claim.

Online application form unavailable:

  • 6pm Tuesday 31 March 2020 to 3pm Wednesday 1 April 2020

This is because of maintenance and we're sorry for the inconvenience.

If you already get Council Tax Reduction and need to tell us about a change see changes of circumstance

If you’re on a low income, council tax reduction could help pay your council tax bill.

You can still claim council tax reduction if you:

  • work
  • are self-employed
  • get a pension
  • get welfare benefits, including Universal Credit

You might be entitled to other discounts or exemptions from your Council Tax bill. 

Who could get council tax reduction

You could be entitled to council tax reduction if:

  • you and any partner have savings or investments of up to £16,000
  • you’re responsible for paying the Council Tax for the property you live in

If your name doesn’t appear on the Council Tax bill, but you pay rent then you may be eligible for Housing Benefit.

Who can’t get council tax reduction

You can't get Council Tax Reduction if we decide that:

  • you and any partner have joint savings or investments of more than £16,000 (unless you are claiming a Second Adult Rebate)
  • you're a  person who is excluded from our scheme because you are considered as either ‘not being in Great Britain’ or a ‘person who is subject to immigration control’
  • you're a full-time student who falls into a category of students that is excluded from our scheme (unless you are claiming a student Second Adult Rebate)

Use our benefits calculator to get an estimate of what Council Tax Reduction you could get.

How to make a claim

Apply for Council Tax Reduction

You can also apply at our Citizen Service Point: 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS1 6AG. Call 0117 922 2300 to make an appointment.

After you’ve submitted your claim, we’ll write to you if we need further information or evidence from you. 

We’ll tell you our decision within 21 days of receiving your claim. 

We’ll do this by:

  • sending you a new Council Tax bill if we’ve made an award
  • or sending you a decision letter by post if we’ve decided you’re not entitled to any reduction

If we send you a new Council Tax bill, it'll show the reduction and any unpaid balance. You can also register for an online council tax account, where you can view your bills.

The amount you get may change if you have a change of circumstance.

How much you’ll get 

You could get up to 100% of your Council Tax after any discounts. 

The actual amount will depend upon your Council Tax band, income, household, and person circumstances.

Backdating an application

We may be able to backdate your claim to a date before you sent in your application form. 

For pensioner claims 

We’ll automatically backdate your claim by up to three months.

For working age claims

You must let us know if you want your claim to be backdated. You can do this when you fill in the online claim form or by using our online contact form.

We can sometimes backdate your claim for up to one month from the date we get your written request for backdating. You'll need to tell us why you didn’t make your claim earlier. For example, you were seriously ill and nobody could make your claim for you.

We may ask you to provide extra information about your reasons for not claiming sooner.

If we give you too much Council Tax Reduction

We might give you too much Council Tax Reduction if you have:

  • given us the wrong information 
  • not told us about a change in circumstances straight away

If we've given you too much  Council Tax Reduction, we’ll send you a new Council Tax bill and amend your monthly repayments. 

If you pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, we’ll increase your monthly payment.