BASINGSTOKE council are offering council tax support to residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The authority are swapping the payment-free months for council tax bills from next year to this spring.

This comes after Hart District Council announced that all residents will be able to apply for a tax payment break of two months, meaning there will be no need to make a council tax payment in April or May 2020.

Payments will resume in June 2020 and will be taken over the ten months from June 2020 to March 2021.

Residents will still pay the same annual total as on your current bill, but over ten months.

Most council tax bills are paid in ten payments over the year, with payment-free months in February and March.

For 2020-21, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have announced that they will be swapping these months with April and May 2020, allowing for those who may be adjusting to strict lockdown measures time to sort themselves out before being billed.

It comes as many people are having to adjust to working from home or being temporarily furloughed as the economic impacts of the virus are felt across the world.

On top of the changing of payment dates, those eligible through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme will also automatically receive a further reduction of £150.

Cabinet Member for Finance and Service Improvement Cllr Hannah Golding said: “We know this is a difficult time for residents across the borough who may be worried about how they will pay their council tax bill as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Following further guidance from the government around its Hardship Fund, I am pleased we have been able to implement this support for our most vulnerable residents and we are committed to helping them through this difficult time.

“We will be applying these discounts automatically for eligible residents and you do not need to contact us. Your council tax bills will be reissued in due course. However, residents should contact us if they have any other concerns.”

Hart District Council also said working age residents who receive support though the Council Tax Reduction Scheme will also receive a further reduction of up to £150 on their council tax bills.

This discount will be automatically applied to eligible residents’ accounts.