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.

This document is part of a collection


1. Introduction

The CTR scheme provides lower income households with a reduction in their Council Tax liability. The reduction can be any proportion of the liability, up to and including 100 per cent (i.e. the household has their Council Tax liability reduced to zero and pays no Council Tax).

CTR data is reported monthly (the final quarterly publication was in September 2020 for the period April – June 2020) from CTR extracts provided by local authorities on a monthly basis. This publication provides the data on the number of CTR recipients and the weekly income forgone from April 2020 to March 2021. It also makes references to the previously published March 2020 statistics to take into consideration the initial economic effect of Covid-19. The publication also provides more detailed analysis of additional characteristics and weekly awards for March 2021 CTR data and therefore supplements the monthly release for the data period up to March 2021 published on 25 May 2021.

Since introduction, entitlement to CTR in Scotland replicated, as far as possible, previous entitlement to Council Tax Benefit (the previous UK-wide benefit abolished in 2013). The only notable exception to this was in 2017, when the scheme was changed to increase the child element of the applicable amount within the scheme by 25 per cent.

The 2017-18 and 2018-19 Local Government Finance settlements included agreement between the Scottish Government and local government for locally determined Council Tax increases to be capped at 3 per cent in cash terms. In 2019-20 and 2020-21 they were capped at 3 per cent in real terms, which was 4.79 per cent (in 2019-20) and 4.84 per cent (in 2020-21) in cash terms.

1.1 How CTR awards are calculated

Entitlement to CTR and the amount awarded is based on the characteristics and income of the applicant and their household. Figure 2 shows the process an application goes through to calculate whether CTR is awarded. Please note that this is a simplified version and does not include some additional features of the scheme (such as capital rules, non-dependant deductions and the second adult rebate).

Figure 2: Process for calculating CTR awards
Process map showing process for calculating CTR awards
Figure 3: Illustration of CTR Calculation 2020-21
Illustration showing how CTR is calculated in 2020-21

A single parent, with two children aged 12 and 14, who lives in a Band C property in Edinburgh.

The Band C Council Tax liability was £17.12 after single person discount of 25%.

Household weekly income consisted of:

  • Net Earnings of £160.00
  • Working Tax Credit of £83.41
  • Child Tax Credits £108.84

Income

Net Earnings £160.00

Working Tax Credit £83.41

Child Tax Credits £108.84

Total Income £352.25

Earnings Disregard (Lone Parent) - £25.00

Earning Disregard (Tax Credit) - £17.10

Total Income for CTR £310.15

Calculation of household’s CTR award

The applicable amount is calculated. This household would receive the single personal allowance and two child personal allowance.

Single Personal Allowance £74.35

Two Child Personal Allowance £170.68

Applicable Amount £245.03

This household’s excess income is then £65.12 (£310.15 - £245.03).

As the total income is greater than the applicable amount, partial CTR is awarded and the household is expected to contribute 20% of their excess income towards their Council Tax liability. So the Weekly Household Contribution is £13.02 (20% of £65.12).

The weekly CTR is £4.10 (£17.12 - £13.02) and their council tax liability (i.e. the amount of council tax they need to pay) is £13.02.

Contact

Email: eddie.chan@gov.scot

Back to top