Council Tax rebate grant

Government Council Tax rebate grant to help with rising energy bills

We are in the process of administering over £6.3 million of the Council Tax Rebate Grant to the majority of West Suffolk band A-D households who have been paying their Council Tax by direct debit since before 22 April this year. If you are one of these 42,000 plus households, the money will be in your bank accounts by the end of April 2022. Please check the eligibility criteria and contact us at West Suffolk Council enquiry form if you believe you have received the rebate grant by mistake. Please note, where the direct debit payee information is different to the name(s) we hold on our files for that address, these payments are taking slightly longer to check and process.

Households who signed up to pay their Council Tax by direct debit on or by 23 April 2022 this year will receive their grant in line with the dates below:

Please note that households that have set up a new direct debit after 23 April 2022, will need to claim the Rebate Grant through the same form outlined in the section How people who don’t pay by direct debit can get the Rebate Grant.

First successful direct debit taken on or around Date Council Tax rebate grant paid by
1 April 2022 By the end of April 2022
8 April 2022 By the end of April 2022
15 April 2022 By the end of April 2022
23 April 2022 By the end of April 2022
1 May 2022 13 May 2022
8 May 2022 20 May 2022
15 May 2022 27 May 2022
23 May 2022 7 June 2022

What happens if my direct debit bounces?

Where a direct debit is unsuccessful, or your bank has rejected payment of the £150 Anglia Revenues Partnership will write to you to invite you to complete a short online form so that we can get the money to you. The deadline for completing this form will be 31 May 2022.  If you do not complete the form before 31 May 2022, we will credit your Council Tax account around the middle of June 2022.  Anglia Revenues Partnership will then write to you to confirm this credit has been applied to your Council Tax account,  your new balance, and any change to your monthly instalments. We will then work with any residents who due to their circumstances end up in credit on their Council Tax account, to get the rebate grant transferred from their Council Tax account to them as swiftly as possible.

What happens if you can’t verify the direct debit payee information for an address?

If we are unable to verify direct debit payee information against the liable Council Taxpayer Anglia Revenues Partnership, on behalf of West Suffolk Council, will write to you as outlined in the section How people who don’t pay by direct debit can get the rebate grant immediately below.

How people who don’t pay by direct debit can get the rebate grant

If you are from a West Suffolk household in a Band A-D property and you don’t pay by direct debit then you need to apply for the rebate grant so we have a way of paying it to you.

Anglia Revenues Partnership will be writing to you to encourage you to complete a simple online form so we can get the rebate grant to you as swiftly as possible. There’s no need for you to wait for the letter. You can complete the form at www.angliarevenues.gov.uk/WSrebate

The payments are subject to mandatory pre-payment checks designed to reduce the risk of fraud. If no issues are highlighted during these checks then the process from claim to payment should take up to 10 working days.

Please note the application deadline is 31 May 2022. If you are an eligible household who hasn't submitted a form by 31 May 2022,  we will credit the £150 rebate grant directly to your Council Tax account in mid-June 2022.  Anglia Revenues Partnership will then write to you to confirm this credit has been applied to your Council Tax account,  your new balance, and any change to your monthly instalments. We will then work with any residents who due to their circumstances end up in credit on their Council Tax account, to get the rebate grant transferred from their Council Tax account to them as swiftly as possible.

If you have any trouble with accessing or completing the form or haven’t received your letter by 16 May 2022, then please contact Anglia Revenues Partnership on a phoneline they have set up especially for calls about the rebate grant. The phone number is 01842 756456.  Please only call this number if you cannot complete the form or haven’t received your letter by this date.

Please note: We will not be calling you to ask you for bank details. Do not provide your bank details to anyone claiming to be from us or one of our partner councils.

Who the rebate grant is for

The Government announced that a Council Tax rebate grant will be provided to households in England from April 2022 to help with some of the impact of rising energy costs.

A rebate grant of £150 will be paid to households in Council Tax bands A-D in England. This includes those whose council tax bill is £0 owing to an existing award of council tax support, as well as certain exempt dwellings.

The money doesn’t have to be paid back.

The rebate grant will not be payable in respect of empty properties, second homes or those occupied by military personnel. The Ministry of Defence will be in touch with residents of armed forces accommodation that is exempt under class O about corresponding cost of living support.

To be eligible to receive this payment you must be liable for Council Tax on 1 April 2022 for:

  • A property in Council Tax bands A to D
  • A property in Council Tax band E and in receipt of the disabled band reduction
  • A property where the following exemptions have been awarded
  • Class N (a dwelling occupied entirely by students – other than HMOs for Council Tax purposes)
  • Class S (a dwelling occupied wholly by persons under the age of 18)
  • Class U (a dwelling occupied whole by persons who are severely mentally impaired)
  • Class W (annexes occupied by a dependent relative)

The band for your property is shown on your Council Tax bill or you can check online at: GOV.UK - Check your Council Tax band

Important information regarding the payments

The Council Tax rebate grant is being paid on the assumption that the person receiving the payment is liable for the Council Tax bill for the property and that the property meets the criteria above.

If this is not the case, the rebate grant will be subject to recovery.

All payments will be subject to pre-payment checks, if we are unable to verify your bank details during this process, we will credit your grant to your Council Tax account on or around the middle of June 2022.  You will receive an amended bill showing your revised instalments for the rest of the financial year after this date.

Fraud awareness

The Government has asked councils to undertake assurance processes to prevent incorrect payments and minimise the risk of fraud. These steps will include either:

  • deferring the rebate grant payment until after the first direct debit payment for Council Tax in 2022-23 has been taken.
  • asking taxpayers to self-certify that they meet the eligibility criteria.

The Government will not tolerate any council taxpayer falsifying their records or providing false evidence to gain access to the Council Tax rebate grant or the Discretionary fund.

A Council Tax payer who provides false information or makes false representation in order to benefit may be guilty of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006.

Discretionary grants

West Suffolk Council has also received £270,300 to administer discretionary grants to those who we and our partner organisations identify as vulnerable and likely to be the most impacted by rising energy prices and the increased cost of living. This will include residents in band E-H properties who for Council Tax purposes are considered to be ‘severely mentally impaired’ and those who receive a Disability Reduction or Local Council Tax Reduction. There will also be a hardship scheme that people can apply to.

We will update this webpage with more details on payments and criteria on who can apply in the coming weeks. We will also publicise this, make other agencies such as Citizens’ Advice and other community organisations aware so they can direct people to apply, and post details on our social media channels.

Some of your questions answered

Below are some of the answers to questions we and other councils have asked Government on your behalf, plus information from the Government guidance.

My Direct Debit for Council Tax has already come out in April so why haven’t I received the rebate grant yet?

There are some households where the direct debit payee information is different to the name(s) we hold on record for that Council Tax property address. If you are one of these households you should either receive the payment or hear from us by Friday 6 May 2022.

I’ve set up to pay my Council Tax by direct debit and my first payment is due to come out on or after 1 May 2022 – why haven’t I received the rebate grant yet?

We have to take the first Council Tax payment to verify the bank account before we can then pay the rebate grant into it. The table further above indicates when you should expect to receive the rebate grant in your bank account.

How long will it take for me as someone who hasn’t paid by their Council Tax by direct debit, to have the details submitted in the form processed and paid?

The payments are subject to mandatory pre-payment checks designed to reduce the risk of fraud. If no issues are highlighted during these checks then the process from claim to payment should take up to 10 working days.

Will accepting the payment affect my benefits?

No. The Government has made it clear that Council Tax rebate payments will be disregarded when income-related benefits, including Council Tax reduction, are being calculated.

Are the payments taxable?

No. You don’t need to inform HMRC of the amounts received and if you are self-employed you don’t need to report the amounts on your Self Assessment tax return.

Will the payments affect my tax credits?

No. As these payments are non-taxable they do not impact tax credits. Tax credits claimants do not need to report these payments as income to HMRC.

I’m overdrawn and don’t want the payment to be used to pay off my overdraft. What do I do?

You can exercise what is known as a ‘first right of appropriation’ on the £150 payment, so that your bank doesn’t use it to pay off your overdraft. Here is a sample letter that you may wish to use to exercise your right of appropriation.

There are other frequently asked questions on the Government's website