Brits can get their council tax debt forgiven if they are struggling by using this little-known way to get help.
But if you don’t have any money to pay your bills, local officials can reduce—or even write off—your council tax debt.
They can do this under a rule called Section 13A – and it can even be used to wipe your bill if your home is damaged in a flood or fire.
Although the amount you can pay depends on your individual circumstances, you can apply to pay off your debt in full.
However, some councils are better at offering help than others – meaning it’s a postcode lottery, who can more easily find support if they’re struggling.
This scheme can help thousands of Universal Credit claimants who are facing Imminent deduction for their £20 a week raiseLoan advisor Sarah Williams said loan camel.
Ms. Williams, who runs the personal finance blog loan camelSaid: “When you have to choose between paying rent and eating out, sometimes there is no money for any debt, including council tax dues.
“Applications of section 13A can be used to great extent to write off council tax.”
This comes as experts warn that a Council tax bill “crisis” looming Nearly seven million Britons are falling behind on their bills.
This a. fueled by Council tax bills hiked by 5% in some places across the UK
How do I make a claim?
You will need to claim for your council tax bill to be written off.
To do this, you will need to fill out a Section 13A application, which you can obtain from your local council.
However, since each council has its own plan, it cannot be called a Section 13A application.
If you can’t find it on your council’s website, contact them to ask what help they have on hand in cases of financial difficulty.
You can find out who your local authority is by using gov.uk’s online tool.
You will need some important documents, such as a bank statement or profit letter, to prove your earnings and the amount of savings you have.
Loan Camel also has a handy letter template that you can use when applying for assistance.
How much money can I withdraw?
You can write off your entire council tax loan – but it’s not guaranteed.
Each council decides how much they will wipe out your debt on a case by case basis.
According to Money Advice Hub, they may take the following factors into consideration when making a decision about your application:
- Evidence of financial hardship or unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances that mean you cannot pay
- Do You Already Have a Council Tax Exemption and You Still Can’t Pay
- You don’t have any other money or assets that you can sell to pay your bills
- You’ve Explored All the Possible Ways to Pay Off Your Debt
- Your council tax payment history
- don’t you want to pay the bill
Each council has a different plan through which you can apply for relief – it’s best to contact your local council for more information.
The Council must notify you of its decision about your application within 14 days of receipt.
Should I apply for help?
As council tax debt rises, many Britons want to make the most of the scheme.
But unfortunately, many Britons will not be eligible for help.
Sarah Wilcox, Turn2US Head of Foreign Affairs, said: “Applying for a council tax debt write-off can be complicated, and it is important that you provide proper evidence of why you need it.
“We recommend that people consult with loan advice agencies or Citizens Advice before applying.”
But StepChange Loan Advice Policy Manager Jonathan Chesterman said that even if you don’t pay off all of your debt, you can still benefit by applying for help.
“Councils should exercise their discretion so even if your exact situation is not covered by the policy, you can still apply and get a good result.
“It’s a good idea to look at council policy so you understand what they’re looking for when you make your write-off request.”
How do I get more money out of my council tax?
There are other ways to see if you can get a reduction in your council tax bill — even if you can’t get your debt forgiven.
you may be eligible for 100% exemption from your council tax If you are on a low income or on benefits, including Universal Credit.
But how much can be deducted on your bill depends on where you live, as each council runs its own tax deduction plan.
Those living on their own can get 25% off their tax bill. This includes where an adult and a student are living together, or an adult and a person classified as severely mentally handicapped.
If you live with someone who doesn’t officially have to pay council tax, such as a caregiver, or someone who is severely mentally handicapped, you can get a 50% discount.
A full list of circumstances that exempt you from paying council tax can be found here citizen advice,
If you live in a full student household, you can get 100% exemption from your council tax.
Complete reduction is also possible in households where someone under the age of 18 is living with a severely mentally handicapped person.
You can apply for deduction of council tax Government UK
You’ll have to apply a different plan if you live Northern Ireland.
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