Council Tax Rebate - FAQs
Our Customer Contact team is currently receiving very high levels of calls regarding the the £150 Council Tax Rebate. We have therefore created a list of some of most frequently asked questions to help residents more efficiently and effectively.
1. How is the payment going to be paid?
Those who have a Direct Debit set up for payment of their Council Tax will receive a separate payment directly into the bank account from which their monthly direct debit is taken.
The bank account must be in the liable person's name.
Those who do not have a Direct Debit set up, they will be contacted in writing requesting bank details for a one off payment to be made to them. The letter will encourage them to use an online form to capture the details. This form is not yet ready.
The above process also applies to those on benefits who currently do not pay Council Tax and also for anyone who does pay by Direct Debit but the payee account is in a different name to the liable persons at the property.
Residents CANNOT call us up to provide bank details for the one-off payment at the moment but can set up a Direct Debit online now to ensure they receive their £150 payment.
No payments can be made until AFTER the first Direct Debit of the year has been taken and cleared in April. This first payment will be used by way of validation to confirm the bank details we hold are still correct.
Payment eligibility is based on the property a resident occupies as of 1 April ONLY. So, if a resident moves from a Band D to a Band E on the 31 March, they will NOT be eligible.
2. When is it going to be paid?
The government have given a deadline of September 2022 to have all the payments processed. The objective is to have all the Direct Debit payments processed during April and May, after which Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council will all move to a manual process of collecting bank details for over 40,000 people across their three Council Districts.
Once all Direct Debit payments are actioned, letters will be sent to everyone else asking them to provide us with their details - the Council then has until September to process them all.
There is no guaranteed date that the payment will be received.
3. What do I need to do? (as a resident)
If you already have a Direct Debit set up - you don't need to do anything.
If you would like to receive your payment sooner rather than later in the year, you can set up a Direct Debit online now for your Council Tax (If you decide to cancel the Direct Debit after you receive the payment that's up to you).
If you fall into any other category, you just need to wait to hear from us in writing, which will be May onwards.
4. Will this be taken off my bill?
In most cases - no. To ensure the residents receive their rebate as quickly as possible, the Council is attempting to process the rebate as a separate payment.
However, the Council will deduct the rebate from a Council Tax bill if needed, but only as a last resort as this will result in the £150 being spread over instalments across the rest of the year.
5. How does the payment link to my Council Tax?
This payment is separate to your Council Tax, and the Government are simply utilising the existing Council Tax database to process them and identify those households who qualify. There is no direct correlation between the rebate and your Council Tax payments.
6. What is in place for Band E and above?
There is a provision that could support a small number of residents:
A Disabled Band Reduction - those in a Band E property who qualify for Disabled band reduction will be eligible for the payment.
7. Why does this not apply to me in a higher band?
The criteria for the payment are set by the Government, not local government. The Council is acting purely as the administrators in this process.
The Council is considering a discretionary scheme for those in band E and above, but the qualifying conditions for this have not yet been decided.
8. Why has my neighbour received her/his payment and I haven't received mine?
There could be a number of reasons for this. They may pay their council tax earlier in the month than you, they may pay theirs by direct debit and you don't, don't worry yours will be paid. If you pay by direct debit you should receive it by mid-May, if you don't we will write to you in May to arrange how we will pay the rebate to you, don't contact us we will contact you.
9. Why did someone from your department call and ask for my bank details?
Please note: The Council will not call, text or email you to ask you for your bank details, if you do receive such a call, text or email, please do not provide your bank details, instead report it to https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040
10. My bank account is overdrawn, so I will not be able to access the £150. What can I do?
If you write to your bank before you receive the payment, telling them that you will be receiving money to pay a certain bill, they cannot use that money for any other purposes, such as reducing your overdraft or paying any bank charges. This is called 'the right of first appropriation'.
There is a template letter that has been provided by National Debtline, which you can use by clicking here. You must tell the bank about this before the payment is received though, you cannot do it afterwards.
11. The Council Tax is included in the rent that I pay to my landlord. Will I get a payment?
The purpose of the payment is to assist in people paying their energy bills.
If the Council Tax is in your name, but being paid by your landlord, then you will still get the payment.
If the Council Tax bill is in your landlord's name, then they will get the payment, if they are a qualifying taxpayer, as normally this would indicate that the energy bills are in the landlord's name too.
If the Council Tax bill is in your landlord's name, but the energy bills are in your name, then you should discuss with your landlord that the £150 is to help you pay the energy bill. You may also be able to claim a discretionary payment from the Council.
12. I receive Council Tax Support will I still get £150 rebate?
YES, if you pay less than £150 Council Tax, or you receive single person discount, or do not pay because you receive Council Tax support, you will still be entitled to the payment.