Local councils worried about council tax rebate scams
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged the support as part of a £9bn relief package, with councils able to start giving out rebates from the beginning of last month. The scheme applies to British households who fall under certain council tax bands and vary somewhat between the different nations that make up the UK.
Which areas are still to pay the rebate?
Councils have been able to pay the rebate since April 1 and have until September 30 to make the transactions.
But a number have announced residents may not receive the payment for months to come.
To date, many councils are still waiting for the new payment software update to enable funds to be processed.
Chelmsford City Council, for instance, said as the council tax system was designed “to collect money rather than pay it out”, new software has had to be installed. Consequently, this has resulted in delays for some residents
The following councils have yet to pay the rebate, though they have announced this will be remedied by the end of May:
- Allerdale Borough Council
- Birmingham City Council
- Braintree District Council
- Derby City Council
- Gloucester City Council
- Halton Borough Council
- Hammersmith and Fulham Council
- Hastings Borough Council
- Havering Borough Council
- Lewisham Council
- Liverpool City Council
- Luton Borough Council
- North Hertfordshire Council
- North Northamptonshire Council
- North Tyneside Council
- Northumberland County Council
- Sevenoaks District Council
- South Lakeland District Council
- Tamworth Borough Council
- Torbay Council
- Wirral Council
If you’re unsure of whether your local council has already paid the rebate it’s advised you get in contact with them at the earliest opportunity.
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Who’s entitled to a rebate?
Households that fall within council tax categories A to D (roughly 80 percent of properties) are entitled to a one-off payment from the Government.
To find out which band you’re in you can use the Government’s online search tool. All you need to do is enter your postcode.
Council tax is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but there are similar schemes in place.
For example, Scottish residents will be entitled to £150 if they are in bands A to D, but they’ll also qualify if they’re currently getting a council tax reduction as well.
If you already get council tax support via your local authority you should be paid the rebate.
Council tax support is available for those on low incomes and claiming benefits, including pension credit.
Retirees on pension credit will also get the rebate on top of their usual discount.
Those who qualify for the £150 rebate will get the payment automatically so you won’t have to apply.
If your home falls into bands E, F, G and H (or I as well, in Wales) you will not be entitled to the automatic payment.
Those completely exempt from paying council tax already may not get the money either.
The amount of money each area gets depends on size and need. For example, Birmingham has £3.6m, while the Isles of Scilly have £17,550.
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