Council tax: Can you get a council tax discount during lockdown? Who is eligible?

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The latest national lockdown started nearly a month ago, plunging millions of Brits into a financial squeeze. Several financial supports have remained in place from last year, including furlough and a boost on Universal Credit. But help from the Treasury couldn’t cover everything, as people remain responsible for their council tax.

Can you get a council tax discount during lockdown?

Council tax varies around the UK, with rates depending on people’s property value and location.

Not everyone has to pay the full amount as there are some discounts available.

While none of these apply specifically to Covid, they may cover people affected by the disease or lockdown.

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Most adults aged over 18 have to pay council tax, but some groups can get a reduction.

Only people who already pay can claim one, and programmes will vary across the UK.

There are general rules, however, which specify some groups should have entitlement to a reduction.

The amount of discount will vary depending on the group.

Groups which could get a discount include:

  • People living alone
  • People living with someone under 18 or a student
  • Carers
  • Anyone who has a substantial change to their home’s value
  • Anyone who changes the way they pay for council tax

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People changing the way they pay won’t get an overall discount, but they can reduce the bill’s monthly burden.

They could also structure their payments to have a month or two off paying.

Those who need to pay council tax can negotiate several different ways to schedule their payments.

For example, people can set up a direct debit every month, pay it online, or by phone.

They can also opt to pay the full amount in instalments.

Much like direct debit, these will require monthly payments, but fewer.

Instalments allow people to provide council tax payments via 10 or 11 blocks.

The choice provides brief relief for one or two months a year, during January and February.

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