The Latest from Cornwall Council on Council Tax and Business Rates

Posted on: 2nd April 2020

The Latest from Cornwall Council on Council Tax and Business Rates, for those who’s income is being disrupted by Coronavirus.

Council Tax support guidance

“Our message to residents is that if you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, there is support available and the Council can help you if you have been affected by the pandemic. If you need help to pay your council tax, whatever your age and circumstances, you may be able to claim Council Tax Support.

The Government has announced a further contribution so that we are able to give everyone of working age currently receiving Council Tax Support (22,000 households) an extra £150. This will happen automatically and those people who are currently in receipt of Council Tax Support will receive a reduced Council Tax bill shortly.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many of our residents and that the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on the economy.

Your Council Tax pays for our essential services that are delivered to all residents in Cornwall, so it is really important that if your circumstances have not changed that you continue to pay what you should, maintain your direct debit payments, or payment plan, as detailed on your bill.

However, if you are struggling to pay, it is important that you keep in touch with us and let us know if you are going to miss a payment or not pay the full amount, so that we can agree to a special payment plan. This may mean that we can defer your payments to later in the year however, we will look at the best option for your circumstances. We can also look at your arrears so that we can consider everything you owe to us and avoid any extra costs or charges.

To help in this process, we have suspended all recovery action until at least the end of April. This will allow you time to discuss your financial situation and find out what help is available.

For more information, please see our dedicated web page:” Council tax support during Coronavirus

So, my interpretation of the above is:

  • If your income has not been affected, please keep up your payments to Cornwall Council as this is how they will keep funding essential services to all residents;
  • If your income has been affected, making you worse off at the moment but you may soon get Government help and/ or Universal credit, there will not be a problem in you delaying or reducing your payments to the Council provided you let the Council know what you are doing and explain why; (use this form: Form for missing payments/ deferring 10 month start)
  • If your income is significantly reduced and there is no prospect of that improving, use the link above (Council tax support during Coronavirus) to apply formally for help to pay.

That is my interpretation but you should use the link above – Council tax support during Coronavirus, to reach your own conclusions! 

Business Rates

“Government funding for business support has arrived today, and we are already working on getting it out to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.

Cornwall has the largest grant, with the largest number of businesses to distribute it to.  Our grant is £282 million, compared to the second largest recipient, Birmingham, who are getting £232 million.  Comparable unitary authorities Dorset and Wiltshire are receiving £134 million and £106 million respectively.

Therefore the logistical challenge is high, but we are as prepared as we can possibly be, and have the wheels in motion already.

Letters have been sent to business or correspondence address. We will need business owners to complete an online form with some simple bits of information to be able to pay the grant. The quicker they provide this information the sooner we can pay your grant.

If an owner can’t access their business premises or haven’t received a letter by Friday 3rd April, then they should contact us on 0300 1234 171 and the council will assist you with this process.”

However, a local Business owner has tipped me off that, this on-line form is a quick and easy way to apply for the grant in Cornwall! Business Grant Funding Payment & Eligibility