Information

Council Tax Reduction in Scotland, 2020-21

Council Tax Reduction (CTR) awarded by age, household structure, income sources and employment status, deprivation index, and Council Tax band in the financial year from April 2020 to March 2021. It also makes references to the previously published March 2020 statistics for comparative purposes.

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Glossary and Things you Need to Know about this Release

Covid-19 Pandemic - An ongoing (at time of publication) global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). This has resulted in restrictions being implemented across the country with multiple policy interventions to deal with the health, economic and other impacts of Covid-19. The first national lockdown began on 24 March 2020. More information can be found at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/.

  • Passporting Benefits Receiving one of the following benefits for those on lower income has the practical effect of automatically qualifying the recipient for full CTR:
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income Based) – paid to those who are unemployed and are on a low income.
    • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) – paid to those on a low income whose ability to work is limited by an illness or disability.
    • Income Support – paid to those on a low income and under state pension age, who are not sick or available for work.
    • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) – paid to those on a low income who are over the qualifying age for state pension.

Note: UC replaces the above four benefits that currently passports recipients to full CTR. UC also replaces Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits.

  • Applicable Amount Every household has a maximum amount of weekly income they can receive, before their income starts to affect their CTR. This figure is called the applicable amount. The applicable amount varies depending on the age, size of family, and any special needs they may have (for example if anyone is disabled).

The applicable amount has three main parts, these are:

  • a personal allowance - either single/couple
  • an amount for any dependent children - children's personal allowance
  • a premium - an element that is awarded depending on circumstances.

The applicable amount can be a personal allowance or a personal allowance with additional premiums depending on circumstances.

  • Premiums Eligibility for premiums is based on personal circumstances and being in receipt of another benefit. For example, those who receive Carers Allowance for caring for a disabled person will receive a carer premium. There are also premiums for disabled people. Different rates apply depending on household make-up. For example a disabled single person will get £34.95 whilst if there is a couple and one is disabled the rate is £49.80. Some examples of personal allowances and premiums for 2020-21, alongside the 2019-20 figures are given in Table 1.

Income - Regulations state what counts as income in the calculation of CTR. Income includes earnings, tariff income, other income paid on a regular basis, and social security benefits. Income can either be fully taken into account, partially taken into account or fully disregarded.

Table 1: Value of certain CTR personal allowances and premiums (per week), 2019-20 and 2020-21 1
Personal Allowances 2019-20 2020-21
Single applicant aged 18 to 25 years £57.90 £58.90
Single applicant aged over 25 years £73.10 £74.35
Single applicant who has reached state pension age £181.00 £187.75
Couple at least one aged 18 years £114.85 £116.80
Couple at least one aged over state pension age £270.60 £280.85
Child or young person (from birth to the day before their 20th birthday) £83.63 £85.34
Premiums 2019-20 2020-21
Disability premium for a single person £34.35 £34.95
Disability premium for a couple £48.95 £49.80
Enhanced disability premium for a single person £16.80 £17.10
Enhanced disability premium for a couple £24.10 £24.50
Enhanced disability premium for a child £26.04 £26.60
Severe disability premium for a single person £65.85 £66.95
Severe disability premium for a couple where one qualifies £65.85 £66.95
Severe disability premium for a couple where both qualify £131.70 £133.90
Carer Premium £36.85 £37.50
Disabled child premium £64.19 £65.52

1 This table lists some of the more common personal allowances and premiums and is not comprehensive.

  • Excess Income This is the amount left after deducting the household’s applicable amount from their total income.
  • Income Assessment This is a calculation which is taken to determine eligibility for CTR if the eligibility criteria is satisfied. For example those who have more than £16,000 in savings are not eligible to receive CTR. The income assessment compares the household’s income and their applicable amount.
    • If total income is less than the applicable amount then full CTR will be awarded.
    • If total income is greater than applicable amount then the household is expected to contribute 20 per cent of their excess income to their Council Tax liability. This results in a tapering effect, where CTR awards decrease as income increases.
  • Full CTR The amount of CTR awarded is equal to the full amount of Council Tax liability for the applicant (less any appropriate non-dependent disregards). For example, if an applicant lived in a Council Tax (Band C) house in Edinburgh, and their weekly Council Tax liability was £22.82 in 2020-21, their award would equal their Council Tax liability (£22.82) and they would pay no Council Tax if they receive full CTR.
  • Partial CTR The household contributes 20 per cent of their excess income towards their Council Tax liability and the remainder of the liability is the CTR award. Figure 2 provides an illustrative example of a partial CTR calculation.

Contact

Email: eddie.chan@gov.scot

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