Council Tax: COVID-19

COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We appreciate this is a difficult time for many of our residents and that the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on our town.

Your Council Tax pays for the essential services delivered to all residents in the borough, so it is very important that if your financial circumstances have not significantly changed you continue to pay your Council Tax as detailed on your bill.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, there is support available and the Council can help you if you have been affected. If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, it is important that you let us know using our online form.

If you are now on a low income or out of work, you should claim Universal Credit as soon as possible on the Gov website.

 

Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)

The Government has announced that they will be giving Northampton Council an extra £1,861,318 to help people who are receiving help with their Council Tax bill through a  Council Tax Reduction

  • If you have applied for a Council Tax Reduction or are already receiving a Council Tax Reduction you will not have to do anything else to receive this help. We will not take into account whether you have been affected by COVID-19 either directly or indirectly in assessing eligibility for this reduction.
  • If you are not already receiving a Council Tax Reduction  and need help with your Council Tax bill because you are finding it difficult to manage financially, please apply for Council Tax Reduction in the normal way. Any extra help will be given automatically.

The Government has asked the Council to reduce the bill for everyone who is working age and receives a Council Tax Reduction, at any point in this financial year, by up to £150.

The financial year starts on 1 April 2020 and ends 31 March 2021. The hardship payment will be lower for people who do not start to receive a Council Tax Reduction until later in the year. 

If your bill is already less than £150 a year the bill will be reduced to nil. If your bill is already nil, no additional award will be made.

We will be processing this additional reduction in stages.

  • Stage 1: If you were receiving a Council Tax Reduction on 1 April 2020 and are still receiving a Council Tax Reduction you will receive a new lower Council Tax bill around 15 May 2020.
  • Stage 2: If your Council Tax Reduction started after 1 April 2020, we do not have an exact date for when you will receive a lower bill. We hope to put the credit on bills by the end of May 2020 but will post updates on this website as soon as exact information becomes available.

 

Council Tax payments

Paying your Council Tax is as important as rent, mortgage, fuel bills and child maintenance. Anyone who is struggling should contact us so we can ensure you are getting all the support you are entitled to.

Self-isolating

If you are self-isolating and unable to pay your Council Tax at the Post Office or at a Payzone retailer you can pay your bill by direct debit, online or by phone. You can find details of all our remote payment options on our online payments page

Direct Debit

Council Tax instalments are due on the 1st of the month. However, if you pay your Council Tax instalments by direct debt you can choose to pay on either 1st, 11th, 20th or 28th of the month which may help if you are experiencing changes in the regularity or frequency of your income. You can arrange to pay Council Tax by direct debit  

Reduce your monthly payments

You may be able to reduce your monthly payments by paying your Council Tax in monthly instalments ending in March 2021 instead of the standard January 2021. Please contact us if you would like to arrange this.

Weekly payments

If your income has been disrupted, you can ask to pay your Council Tax by weekly instalments if this will help you budget your bills.

Council Tax discounts & exemptions

The Council offers some exemptions and discounts towards our residents Council Tax bills which are not solely based on income, e.g. for single occupiers, students, and the disabled. Please check whether you may be entitled to one of these reductions:

Exemptions

Discounts

Disabled Residents Relief

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

This is a scheme that provides financial support for those on a low income who may need further help with their housing costs.

Help through the DHP scheme is only available for customers who are or were in receipt of Housing Benefit (or the housing element of Universal Credit if it does not cover all your housing costs) and need financial support to pay their rent. You can apply for a DHP on our website 

Section 13a discounts

In exceptional cases of hardship, the Council can award a discretionary discount. Applications will only be considered after any claim for our standard Council Tax Reduction, Discretionary Housing Payment (if applicable) and any other reductions have been considered.  More information about this discount is available