Council tax is an expense that many people have to pay however there are ways to get this reduced, or even get it for free. As inflation sits at nine percent and bills continue to rise, any ways to save money could be vital for families who are feeling the financial squeeze.
Council tax is considered a priority bill, as not paying it can result in bailiffs, court action or even imprisonment in the worst case.
Many people may not realise they’re eligible for a reduction, or could even get the balance paid off in full.
Britons living in a low income household, or receiving benefits such as Universal Credit could get up to 100 percent off their council tax bill.
On top of this, households in the majority of homes in England are set to get a £150 rebate on their council tax as part of Government measures to tackle the cost of living crisis.
What support people can get depends on their circumstances and where they live, as each council decides what help to offer those in its area.
Factors that will determine how much of a discount one can get include their household income, whether they have children, and if they receive any benefits.
The council tax rebate
The Government announced council tax help in February in the form of a £150 rebate. It will be given to households in council tax bands A – D, which means 80 percent of homes in England.
People can use a useful tool on the Government website to find out what council tax band they are in. They just need to enter their postcode.
If someone lives with someone who doesn’t have to pay council tax, such as a carer or someone who is severely mentally impaired, they could get a 50 percent reduction.
Additionally if someone lives in an all-student household, they could get a 100 percent discount.
A full list of circumstances that exempt you from paying council tax can be found on Citizens Advice’s website.
Pensioners may also find themselves eligible for a council tax reduction if they receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. They could even be in line for a 100 percent discount.
If not, they could still get help if they have a low income and less than £16,000 in savings. Pensioners who live alone will be entitled to a 25 percent discount too.
Low income households
If someone is on a low income or receiving benefits, they could eligible for a reduction on your council tax. The requirements to get help will vary depending on where someone lives.
People could also get a deferral if they’re struggling to pay their bill, or they can speak to their council about setting up a payment plan to manage the cost.
Britons can apply for a reduction through the Government website. They will need their national insurance number, bank statements, a recent payslip or letter from the Jobcentre, and a passport or driving licence when filling out the details.