Our Full Council approved the £25 New Homes and Growth Dividend on 20 February 2023.
A New Homes and Growth Dividend of up to £25 will be paid to council taxpayers who have a Council Tax liability, providing universal support to residents impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.
This will be shown as a reduction on your 2023/24 council tax bill.
The taxpayer must be known by us to be liable to pay council tax on 1 March 2023 and continue to have a council tax liability for 2023/24 on 1 April 2023. If this criterion is not met there will be no entitlement to a dividend.
Full policy details
Appendix D - Dividend Policy for the ‘Braintree New Homes & Growth Dividend'
1. Purpose of the Scheme
1.1 The dividend is a one-off payment of up to £25 for each Council Taxpayer who meets the eligibility criteria.
1.2 The dividend shall be awarded for the 2023/24 financial year only.
1.3 The dividend shall be described as the ‘BDC Homes & Growth Dividend’ and will be shown on the Council Tax demand notices including those accessed via OpenPortal.
2.1 The cost of the dividend will be met from the Council’s General Fund and borne solely by Braintree DC.
3. Eligibility criteria and awards
3.1 Dividend to be awarded automatically onto a taxpayer’s account where the eligibility criteria are met in full. Where any taxpayer fails to meet the criteria, no dividend shall be payable, likewise where, after an award being made, it is established that the eligibility criteria were not met in full, any amount awarded shall be reclaimed.
3.2 The dividend will only be made to resident council taxpayers of Braintree District Council who, on 1st March 2023, are known by the Councils Revenues and Benefits service to be liable to pay council tax on 1st April 2023 in respect of a dwelling listed on the Valuation Officer’s valuation list.
4. Effective Date
4.1 This policy will apply to a council tax liability as at 1st April 2023 in respect of the 2023/24 financial year only. To receive a dividend, the eligibility criteria stated below must be met in full.
5.1 To receive an award of a dividend all the following criteria must be met on the effective date:
a) The taxpayer must have been on the council tax system as at 1st March 2023 and must have a council tax liability in respect of the 2023/24 financial year remaining on the account through to 1st April 2023.
b) The premises must be shown as a chargeable dwelling on the Braintree District Council Tax Valuation List.
c) The chargeable dwelling must be considered the taxpayer’s sole or main residence
d) The taxpayer must be the liable person as defined by Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992
e) The dwelling must not be exempt from Council Tax
6.1 Where the Council determines that a dividend shall be awarded, the amount will be a single one-off payment of up to £25. For the dividend to be awarded, the taxpayer must be liable to pay a net amount of Council Tax greater than zero for the financial year 2023/24 or part thereof on 1st April 2023.
6.2 The dividend shall be credited directly to the taxpayer’s Council Tax and will be used to reduce the Council Tax liability for the financial year 2023/24 only.
6.3 Where there is no Council Tax liability for 2023/24 no award shall be made.
6.4 For the purposes of calculating Council Tax liability for 2023/24, any credit or overpayments carried over from a prior year’s liability will be ignored. Likewise, where an outstanding debt is due in relation to a prior year, this will be ignored for the purposes of determining if there is a Council Tax liability for 2023/24.
7. Subsequent Changes to Liability
7.1 Any changes to the Valuation List (in terms of either Council Tax band or the inclusion of a chargeable dwelling) after the effective date, including changes backdated to this date, will be ignored for the purpose of eligibility.
7.2 Any changes to Council Tax liability will be ignored for the purposes of eligibility, except where the liability ends prior to 1st April 2023.
7.3 Where a dividend has been awarded for the 2023/24 financial year and the Council is made aware that Council Tax liability ceased either on or before 31st March 2023, any dividend awarded shall be reclaimed.
7.4 Where a dividend has been awarded for the 2023/24 financial year, there shall be no reduction or increase in dividend if the Council Tax liability for that year increases or decreases on or after 1st April 2023.
8.1 For the avoidance of doubt, no dividend shall be paid whatsoever where:
- The taxpayer does not have their sole or main residence in the chargeable dwelling e.g., where the owner is liable to pay the Council Tax (e.g., under the Council Tax (Liability for Owners) Regulations 1992 as amended; or
- the premises are unoccupied; or
- the Council determines the premises to be a second home (as defined by the Council Tax (Prescribed Class of Dwellings) Order 2003 as amended); or
- a Council Tax exemption has been applied to the dwelling which would result in no liability for the 2023/24 financial year; or
- an amount of Council Tax Support or any other discount, or reduction has been granted which would result in no liability for the 23/24 financial year.
9. Who can receive the dividend?
9.1 In all cases, only persons named as the Council Tax liable person on 1st March 2023 shall be awarded a dividend.
9.2 Where two or more persons are jointly and severally liable, only one dividend shall be awarded.
9.3 Where the Council has reason to believe that the information it holds about the taxpayer or applicant at the effective date is inaccurate, it may withhold or recover the dividend and take reasonable steps to identify the correct taxpayer.
9.4 Where it is subsequently determined that the records held are incorrect, the Council reserves the right to recover any dividend incorrectly awarded.
9.5 Where any person misrepresents information or contrives to take advantage of the policy, the Council will recover any dividend awarded.
10. How will the dividend be provided to taxpayers?
10.1 Where practicable, the dividend will be awarded directly on to Council Tax accounts. There will be no application process.
10.2 Where the information held by the Council is insufficient, the Council reserves the right to request any supplementary information from taxpayers, and they should look to provide this, where requested, as soon as possible.
11. Scheme of Delegation 11.1 A full resolution of the Council has approved the award of the dividend
11.2 Officers of the Council will administer the scheme and the Section 151 Officer is authorised to make technical policy amendments to ensure it meets the criteria set by the Council.
12. Notification of Decisions
12.1 All awards on behalf of the Council shall be made by the Revenues and Benefits Service.
12.2 All decisions made shall be notified to the taxpayer either in writing or by email. This will normally take the form of a Council Tax demand showing an award of dividend being applied.
13. Review of Decisions
13.1 The Council will operate an internal review process and will accept a taxpayer’s request for a review of its decision.
13.2 All such requests must be made in writing to the Council and should state the reasons why the applicant is aggrieved with the decision of the Council. New information may be submitted at this stage to support the taxpayer’s review.
13.3 The case will be reconsidered by the Revenues and Benefits Manager as soon as practicable, and the taxpayer informed in writing or by email of the decision. That decision shall be final.
14. Taxation and the provision of information to HMRC
14.1 The Council does not accept any responsibility in relation to a taxpayer’s HMRC tax liabilities and all taxpayers should make their own enquiries to establish any tax position.
15. Recovery of amounts incorrectly paid
15.1 If is established that any award has been made incorrectly due to error, fraud, misrepresentation, or incorrect information provided to the Council by a taxpayer or their representative(s), the Council will look to recover the amount in full.
16. Data Protection and use of data
16.1 All information and data provided by applicants shall be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s Data Protection policy and Privacy Policies which are available on the Council’s website.