Council tax

If you rent or own a home, you usually have to pay Council Tax to your local council. You might be exempt from paying any council tax or entitled to pay less. 

Check out or save a link to our Council Tax Reduction tool which last year saved people £380 on average in council tax payments. 

Please Note

This section is quite lengthy in parts. Please take time to read through all sections to find the best suitable support. 

Save on your Council Tax Bill

Check if you can reduce your Council Tax bill

Council tax can be complicated, use our online Council Tax Reduction Tool to check if you're eligible for any reductions, discounts or exemptions on paying your council tax bill.

Council Tax Reduction tool
(opens in new window)

Please Note

Universal Credit can help with housing costs like your rent but it won't help towards your council tax. You have to apply for Council Tax Reduction separately.

Check eligibility for a disability reduction

There are various reductions and discounts, if you or a member of your household is disabled including:

  • Disabled Band Reduction Scheme - this reduces your Council Tax to a lower band if you need a larger house because you or a member of your household is disabled.
  • Severe Mental Impairment Exemption - this helps people with permanent conditions which affects intellectual or social functioning such as dementia. You will need a doctor’s certificate to state that you or a member of your household is severely mentally impaired.

You can find out more about these schemes for disabled people on Turn2Us’s website below. To apply, get more information from your local council. Find your local council on Scottish Government’s Local Authority Finder below.

Schemes for Disabled People
(opens in new window)
Find your local council
(opens in new window)

Please Note

The link for "Find your local council" above will take you to the Scottish Government’s website where you can select your own local council from a Drop-Down menu. This will move you onto your local council’s website. You will end up on your council’s main page and you will have to search for the particular Scheme. If you are having issues navigating your local council’s website, contact your council for further support

Worried about Council Tax Arrears?

It's important to deal with your council tax worries as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your local council to contact you, you should contact them.

If you get a letter from your council telling you that you've have fallen behind in your council tax payments, you should contact your council immediately.

Talk to your council about your arrears

You can use this link below to help find your local council's website and talk to them about your council tax issues.

Find your local council
(opens in new window)

Please Note

The above link will help you find your local council’s website, but you may have to search within these websites for their section on Council Tax and who to contact. Normally this is prominent on most council’s websites and should be easy to locate. If you are having issues finding the relevant section on council tax, look for "CONTACT US" usually found in the top thumbnail bar.

You might also find how to contact your local council on your council tax bill. 

You might get a  letter delivered by a Sheriff Officer. This is known as a Summary Warrant.

If you receive a letter from a Sheriff Officer, you shouldn’t wait any longer. You need to act now and speak to your council today. Some councils might ask you to deal directly with the Sheriff Officer appointed. Their contact details can be found on the Summary Warrant.

If you got a Summary Warrant and don’t know what to do, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureaux.

If you are struggling with council tax payments or are worried about paying council tax arrears, you can read our  Advice website to help you work out what to do next.

Please Note

Don’t Forget your Scottish Water and Sewerage Charges

Most households in Scotland pay for water and sewerage as part of their Council Tax bill. You might be able to get a reduction or an exemption with your water and sewerage charges.

Even if you get a 100% Council Tax Reduction or are exempt from paying Council Tax, you STILL need to pay your water and sewerage charges.

You will only be exempt from water and sewerage charges, if ALL members of your household are exempt from paying council tax.

Check what to do about Scottish Water & Sewerage

You can use our advice website for more information on paying for Water and Sewerage charges in Scotland.

If you're struggling to pay your water and sewerage charges or you're in arrears, you should speak to your local council. Usually local councils will collect arrears for Water and Sewerage along with any arrears for Council Tax. You can use Scottish Government’s Local Authority Finder to help direct you to your local council’s website.

Paying for Water & Sewerage in Scotland
(opens in new window)
Find your local council
(opens in new window)

If you're on certain benefits, you can ask your local council about Water Direct. This allows the council to ask the Department of Work and Pensions to pay some of your benefit directly to the council to cover your arrears.

You can read more about arrears for water and sewerage on our advice website.  You can also find out more on how to use your benefits to help pay your bills, including Water and Sewerage on GOV.UK’s website.

Some households might have a private water supply, for example if you live permanently in a mobile home. In these cases, you pay for your water and sewerage separately, but there are rules you must follow. Find out more information about getting a private water supply on our advice website.