Council tax payers with disabilities need more help

Published on 26 October 2006

A recent LITRG review of local authorities’ websites (see link below) shows a patchy performance by Councils in publicising relief from council tax for taxpayers with disabilities.

The Council Tax Disability Reduction (CTDR) is a relief from council tax available to some people with disabilities who need to set aside a room in their homes because of their disability – e.g. for storing or using medical equipment. Broadly, those who qualify for the reduction pay council tax appropriate to the next lower valuation band, while the council tax liability of Band A dwellers is reduced by 1/9th of Band D.

In our December 2003 report Disability in Tax and Related Benefits: the Case for a Modern and Coherent Approach on how people with disabilities are treated within the tax system, we reviewed how local authorities promote and deliver the CTDR.

Our findings indicated that the information local councils gave to the public was sparing, particularly on the detailed requirements, and sometimes at variance with the actual legislation.

Now that all public bodies are obliged by new legislation to publish Disability Equality Duty schemes, we have again researched the information available online, and in leaflets, regarding the CTDR across a sample of 95 local authorities.

Once again we found that information was difficult to access online. There were also differences in the way the rules were explained. Six of the councils surveyed made no mention at all of the CTDR on their websites.

We have concluded that the CTDR is not generally promoted adequately. Whether council tax payers are aware of it may vary depending on where they live.

We are now using all avenues open to us to press for consistency and more prominent promotion of the CTDR relief by local authorities.

(26-10-2006)

Contact: Robin Williamson (Tel: 0844 579 6700 Fax 0844 579 6701)

Council Tax Disability Reduction - LITRG survey results