Council Tax Discretionary Relief 13a(1)(c)
Under Section 13A(1)(c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as inserted by Section 10 of the Local Government Act 2012), the Council has the power to reduce liability for Council Tax in relation to individual cases or classes of cases that it may determine and where national exemptions and discounts cannot be applied.
We have not specified any class of case in which liability is to be reduced. However, we will consider claims on individual cases. The Discretionary Relief Policy is intended to provide short term help to alleviate financial hardship.
The financial burden of awarding a Discretionary Relief payment, under Section 13A(1)(c), has to be met through an increase in the general level of Council Tax for other payers. Due to this, the granting of Discretionary Relief payments will only be made in exceptional circumstances and after other forms of financial support have been considered and/or applied for.
Each application will be looked at on its own merits and having regard to the factors outlined below
- There must be evidence of financial hardship or personal circumstances that justify a reduction in Council Tax liability
- The applicants income and expenditure including unusual and/or avoidable expenditure
- Whether there are exceptional circumstances that contribute to the financial hardship
- The applicant must satisfy the Council that all reasonable steps have been taken or will be taken to resolve the situation
- Entitlement to all other eligible discounts/relief/income/welfare benefits have been explored and are being claimed
- The amount outstanding must not be the result of wilful refusal to pay or culpable neglect
- The taxpayer does not have access to other assets that could be used towards their Council Tax liability
- Whether the situation can be resolved by some other legitimate means
- Whether an award will assist the applicant towards a position where they can pay their Council Tax within a reasonable time frame without further recourse to this discount
- Any social or health issues currently being faced by the resident and/or their immediate family
- The effect the situation is having on vulnerable members of the resident’s family (e.g. the elderly, the young, the infirm etc.)
- Other evidence in support of an application (such as information from Doctors and/or Social Workers)
- Where applicable, what information/advice has been sought and obtained previously
- The size and banding of the current accommodation
- The possibility of moving to a smaller and lower banded property
- The lifestyle choices of the applicant and their household
- Whether there is a threat of court action in relation to Council Tax arrears.
This list is neither prescriptive or exhaustive
If you are struggling financially there are a number of third party organisations who can also offer help and practical support. Three of the most well known are:
The Money Advice Service, which has been set up by central government.