Money saving expert Martin Lewis has answered some of the most common key questions about the upcoming council tax rebate.
The rebate will give everyone in council tax bands A-D an instant, non-repayable £150 lump sum of money back off their bills to help ease the cost of living crisis.
Speaking on Martin’s show on ITV, Martin explained that the most painless way to get your hands on the money is to pay by direct debit.
Martin said: “If you pay your council tax by direct debit then that £150 will be automatically paid into your bank account.
“If you don’t there’s still time to set a direct debit up, I don’t have deadlines for you because each council has their own one of those.
“This £150 remember is not to be confused with the council’s loan-not-loan scheme.
“It’s not repayable, it’s not taxable, it doesn’t affect your benefits. If you get a single person council tax discount, don’t worry you still get the full £150.
“If you can’t or don’t want to set up a direct debit, the council will get in touch with you and say here’s how you claim but each council will have a different system.
“If you’re not eligible (for the rebate) and you’re struggling to pay those higher energy prices, well from April there’ll be a discretionary £144M fund available from local councils. It’ll pay up to £150 to those that are otherwise ineligible and they have their own guidance that councils will have to set their own criteria on that.”
Martin added later via his site: “If you already pay your council tax by direct debit then you don’t need to do anything and the money will go directly into your bank account. And it’s important to remember that you don’t have to repay the £150 unlike the new £200 energy bill levy.
“If you choose not to set up a direct debit but you are eligible for the payment – you’ll still receive it but there may be a delay as it’s up to your local authority to contact you to arrange it.”