Information for council tax payers during coronavirus crisis

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Municipal Offices are now closed. However, we are still working.

Most of the tools and information you need to manage your account are available online. You can:


Paying your council tax

We know that this is a difficult time for many of our residents and that the coronavirus is having a significant impact.

Your council tax pays for essential services in Cheltenham. If your financial circumstances have not been disrupted, it is really important that you continue to make the payments as set out on your bill.


Difficulties in paying

If you are struggling to pay your council tax, we want to make you aware of the support available and how the council can help you if you have been affected.

Payment plans for your 2020/21 council tax

If your financial circumstances have been disrupted, special payment plans can be agreed on request. For example, your instalment plan could be amended to reduce your April and May payment amount or if necessary deferred to start your 2020/21 council tax payments in June. If you are concerned about your ability to pay your council tax, we would encourage you to contact our council tax helpline on 01242 264161 or email us, and our advisers can talk you through the options currently available. 

For advice and information on the council’s local council tax support scheme, you can contact the council on our dedicated support scheme helpline 01242 264341 or by emailing council tax support.

If you already have outstanding arrears of council tax, and wish to discuss a revised payment plan, please speak to a member of the revenues team on 01242 264161.

Benefits

Check that you have claimed all the benefits that you are entitled to on the government website.

For working age families:

Universal Credit

If your income has reduced, you may be able to claim Universal Credit.

Council tax support

You may also be able to claim for help with your council tax further information can be found on the council tax support pages.


Coronavirus - Up to £150 discount for those on low incomes

We will be receiving a hardship fund from the government in April 2020 to help residents who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus.

If you are of working age and receive council tax support you may be able to get a one off payment of up to £150 towards your 2020/2021 council tax bill.

If your balance for 2020/2021 is nil, then no payment can be granted. If you have a balance that is less than £150 your balance will be cleared in full.  This deduction is for 2020/2021 only (even if you have a balance outstanding from a previous year).

If you meet the criteria you do not need to apply for this payment. It will be paid automatically in due course.  Once the discount has been applied, you will receive a new bill showing the deduction. We will start issuing these revised bills week commencing 8 June 2020.

Please register to receive your bill via email to allow us to get your new bill to you as quickly as possible.


Further advice

There is also more support and advice from the government about coronavirus and claiming benefits on the Universal Credit website and advice for employees, employers and businesses on the government website.

Help with energy bills

New emergency measures with the energy industry have been agreed by the government to protect those most in need during the disruption caused by coronavirus.

Pre-payment and pay-as-you go customers will remain supplied with energy through challenging times and all customers in financial distress can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied.

Further information can be viewed on the government website.


Other links

Government advice on coronavirus

Citizen’s Advice Bureau information about paying bills

Cheltenham coronavirus information

Can you help?

It is important that we do all we can to help those in our communities that are likely to become more isolated as measures are put in place to delay the spread of coronavirus. There are some simple but effective things we can all do to help and further local information on this can be found at  Gloucestershire Community Help Hub.