2022-23 Council Tax £150 Energy Rebate

Billing authority guidance

When will I receive my payment?

The Council are currently experiencing a high demand for payments via application, with thousands being received already from those who were not eligible for the automatic payment. Officers are working hard to ensure payment is made as swiftly as possible, but at present due to the high volume that has been received, we are unable to provide an accurate timescale upon which payment will be made. Applications are being processed in date order and we are aiming to meet the standard 10 working day target to process applications, but due to the high initial volume of applications that have been received we are currently processing within 14 working days.

We are also currently experiencing a high volume of contact (calls and emails) concerning this scheme but in order to assist the team processing these applications, we would ask for your patience, and only make contact if your application exceeds 20 working days. Please continue to monitor this page for updated information.

Scheme payments are being made in two ways:

Automatic direct debit payments

On Friday 29 April, the council successfully processed payment to 42,802 households, totalling more than £6.4m as part of the Governments Energy Rebate Scheme. The payment was made via BACS and therefore should have been received by residents from Wednesday 4 May onwards, in accordance with normal banking timescales.

Due to the guidance provided by the Government for this scheme, it has not been possible to process a payment for every Council Tax account that has a Direct Debit - the following are examples of cases that have been excluded from the automatic payment run.

  • accounts that are listed as empty
  • accounts that are listed as an individual’s second home
  • accounts that fall under the liability of a company
  • accounts that are paid by a third party (Direct Debit and account holder do not match)

Notifications are being issued to those that have not been paid automatically but may be entitled to receive the funds. such as accounts that are currently being paid by a third party, to invite an application to be submitted. Please do not contact the department to make enquiries into the progress of payments prior to 10 May 2022. No notification will be issued to those that do not meet the Government Guidance to receive a payment.

If you pay by direct debit and have not received the payment automatically, please complete an application form

Application form

For those that do not pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit, please complete the application form.

To protect the funds against fraud, all data provided will be verified by the governments Spotlight tool as referenced in the guidance notes issued by the government (these can be found below). Prior to completing an application form, please review the eligibility criteria on this page.

Please note that this payment is not income related, however, if for any reason you would like to opt out the scheme, please email the department ctax@southend.gov.uk and an exclusion will be provided on your account.

Information on the Discretionary part of this scheme for bands E-H will be announced in due course: please continue to view this page for more information relating to this part of the scheme.

The government have provided some guidance notes on the eligibility criteria but for ease, see the following information below:

You can apply for the payment by filling out the application form .

Eligibility for the scheme

  • the property is valued in Council Tax bands A-D or is charged at property band D as a result of the disabled band reduction scheme on 1 April 2022
  • a new build property that is awaiting an official band from the Valuation Office, will be assessed for eligibility when the band is provided where the effective date of the band is on or before 1 April 2022
  • the property is at least one person’s sole or main residence on 1 April 2022
  • the property attracts an occupied charge; or would if it were not for the occupant receiving a 100% reduction due to Council tax Reduction, or by being in the property exemption classes of N (Student), S (persons under 18), U (Severe Mental Impairment) or W (Elderly relative resident in an Annexe) on 1 April 2022

Where the Council has reason to believe the information held at 1 April is inaccurate, payment will be withheld until such time that reasonable steps to determine the correct information have been taken.

Please note that for those not included within the above criteria, a discretionary scheme will also be in operation to support households. Details on this scheme will follow in due course.

Those that are not eligible for the scheme

  • a corporate body, local authority, or other body such as a housing association, government or government body (This list is not exhaustive)
  • a property that is deemed to be a second home (a furnished property that is not someone’s sole or main residence) on 1 April 2022
  • an unoccupied property (a substantially unfurnished property that is not the sole or main residence of any individual) on 1 April 2022
  • a property that is in a banding of E or greater that subsequently wins an appeal with the Valuation Office to have their property banded to a qualifying band after 1 April 2022 (even if the new banding applies to a period on or before 1 April 2022)

Period of scheme

The final date of the main scheme (£150 payments) is 30 September 2022, and all payments must be made by this date, any remaining funding will be returned to the government.

The final date of the discretionary scheme is 30 November 2022, and all payments must be made by this date, any remaining funding will be returned to the government.

Impact of payments

Claiming Benefits: All payments made under this scheme are to be treated local welfare provision and will not be taken into consideration as income when calculating income for those households that are in receipt of income related benefits.

Employed: The payment made under this scheme is non-taxable and do not need to be declared

Self-Employed: The payment made under this scheme is non-taxable and therefore there is no requirement for this to form part of your Self-Assessment tax returns

Repayment of any award

Where records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances in respect of 1 April 2022 are retrospectively updated, and such an update renders the payment invalid, a request will be made for the payment to be returned to the Council immediately.

Please note that any payment made in respect of a property that is subject to a retrospective valuation change that results in the property no longer meeting the eligibility criteria will not be reclaimed E.G a Band D property which has a valuation amendment concluded after 1 April 2022 with a revised assigned property band of E or greater effective from a period on or before 1 April 2022)  

Fraudulent payments

A person that provides false information or makes a false representation in order to benefit from the Council Tax Rebate may be found guilty of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006. Important note: An individual is only entitled to receive this payment on one property (as the award can only be made to their main property) It is important to note that as part of this scheme a reconciliation of all payments made will be provided to the government, as the Council is operating the scheme on their behalf.

Update on scammers making cold calls

Scammers are cold-calling people asking for their bank details to receive the Council Tax rebate. The Council is conducting an application process for this scheme only. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will the Council contact for your bank details as part of this process over the phone. If you receive an unexpected text, phone call or email, do not give out your personal information and call the Council directly to confirm if it is genuine.

 

Contact Council Tax

Telephone: 01702 215001

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