Legislation to prevent households paying more.
People who open up their homes under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will not lose any Council Tax discount they would have been entitled to, following changes to legislation.
The single person occupancy discount will be protected for people offering space to those arriving from Ukraine into Scotland – whether that is within a domestic home or self-contained accommodation.
Amendments have been made to the Council Tax (Discounts) (Scotland) Regulations 1992 to ensure the discount is protected. These changes will also ensure that the Homes for Ukraine £350 ‘thank you’ payment will not affect the level of Council Tax Reduction a household can receive.
The status and income of Ukrainian residents living with families in Scotland under the scheme will also not be considered when calculating any council tax reduction.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:
“The people of Scotland have shown such a huge groundswell of solidarity and support for Ukraine. Their generosity has been heartwarming, and it’s only right that nobody should be financially penalised for opening their homes to people displaced by this illegal war.
“These regulations will come into force for the start of the new council tax year on Friday 1 April. These follow similar regulations ensuring displaced people have access to social security and health from the moment of arrival.”
Households in Scotland which can offer accommodation as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme can register their interest via the UK Government portal. As no rent can be charged, an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month for up to 12 months is to be offered to people who offer accommodation.
Ukrainian refugees will be disregarded when assessing if a household qualifies for the single person discount, due to an amendment in the Council Tax (Discounts) (Scotland) Regulations 1992. The regulations list the types of persons who are disregarded for council tax discount purposes - meaning that a household comprising one adult and one person included on this list is entitled to the 25% single person discount. Ukrainian refugees have been added to this list.
The £350 ‘thank you’ payment will be disregarded as both income and capital for an indefinite period in the calculation of Council Tax Reduction (CTR). No amendments have been necessary to disregard this as income, but the regulations have been amended to disregard indefinitely as capital. When calculating someone’s level of CTR, the status and income of other adults living in the property (who are not dependant on the main householders) is taken into account. The CTR Regulations have been amended so that Ukrainian refugees who are non‑dependants are not taken into account.
In the case of self‑contained accommodation, an amendment has been made to the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) (Scotland) Order 1997, so that a property that is “the sole or main residence” of Ukrainian refugees is exempt from council tax.
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