Published On: Sun, Apr 10th, 2022

Council tax: Britons in the wrong band could be paying up to £400 more a year – are you? | Personal Finance | Finance


As the cost of living crisis continues, Britons are reminded to check their band as almost half a million people (400,000) are thought to be paying too much council tax. As council tax rises this month, many families will be looking at ways to cut costs and save money so it’s worth double checking that they are in the correct band.

While low income households could be eligible for a 100 percent reduction, others could be owed a refund because they’re in the wrong council tax band.

A successful evaluation of someone’s council tax band could save people up to £400 each year.

In addition, payments can be backdated to when the current householder moved into the property which could add up to thousands.

People can check their council tax band by using the online tool at Gov.uk.

READ MORE: Carer’s Allowance claimants could get £500 more via new payment in certain parts of the UK

For properties in England and Wales, people need to submit their challenge to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

They will usually review the band and decide whether to agree to the challenge.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £150 Council Tax refund to all homes in bands A-D has focused attention on Council Tax banding, with householders wondering if they are paying the right tax.

Anyone who lives in a Band A to D property should receive a £150 rebate on their council tax soon.

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However many households are in line for £150 rebates, some may not receive the payment.

People who are exempt from paying council tax could still get this financial help but they’ll need to get in touch with their local council.

How much Council Tax you pay depends on:

  • Your personal circumstances
  • Which valuation band your property is in
  • How much the council needs to fund its services

Each property is assigned one of eight bands in England, based on property value, and the tax is set as a fixed amount for each band. The more valuable the property, the higher the tax.

Eight ways to save money on council tax:
Check the property is in the right council tax band
Pensioners who receive the guarantee credit part of pension credit may not have to pay council tax
Single person households should receive a 25 percent discount
Disabled people – the bill may be reduced if a person with a disability lives at the property
Students – or households with one student should receive a discount
People who are severely mentally impaired including people with dementia receive a discount
Carers sometimes get a reduction depending on their circumstances
Universal Credit claimants also get a reduction.

Financial journalist Martin Lewis has been campaigning on this issue for years in an attempt to help people make savings where they can.

On his Money Saving Expert (MSE) website he recently wrote: “Thousands have tried and succeeded, and payouts or discounts worth £100s or £1,000s are commonplace.

“Get your banding decreased and, as well as paying between £100 and £400 less each year, the repayment should be backdated to when you moved into the property – as far back as when the tax started in 1993.”

In 2020, one man challenged his band and saved himself and his 29 neighbours tens of thousands of pounds, according to MSE.

Britons usually have to pay Council Tax if they are 18 or over.

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home. Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill.



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