Are You Overpaying On Your Council Tax?

With over half a million homes listed in a council tax band but coded as in need of correction it really is important to make sure you are not overpaying on your council tax.

Council TaxCouncil tax banding was introduced in 1991.  All properties were valued and put into a band’ – in England these bands are based on their value on 1 April 1991. For example Band A covers values up to £40,000 and the top Band H is for properties then valued over £320,000.

There have been numerous instances where the assessed valuation of a property, and therefore the banding, was incorrect – not that surpising when the method used was simply for estate agents to drive down a road and make ‘educated’ guesses on property valuations!

Using the Council Tax Valuation List you can check your council tax band and see how it compares to other properties in your street.

If you believe your house is in the wrong council tax band you can make an appeal, or a proposal as it is known. You can check acceptable reasons for a revaluation on the Valuation Office Agency website (the Scottish Assessors website in Scotland) – for example if your property has had some physical changes that affect its value, perhaps part of it has been demolished or perhaps it has been adapted to make it suitable for use by a physically disabled person.

Council tax is a General Election ‘hot potato’ with each of the parties taking a very different stance on what they will do with it should they win the election:

  • Labour plans to revise the whole banding system and will include such as patios and conservatories n valuations.
  • The Conservatives plan to freeze the council tax for 2 years.
  • The Liberal Democrats plan to scrap the tax altogether and replace it with a ‘fair local tax’

Don’t forget it’s not just about being in the right council tax band. You may be eligible for discounts on what you pay – for example if you’re the only adult living in your home you’ll get 25% off your bill – you may also be eligible for council tax benefit if you are on a low income.

We’ll come back to these points in another article here on MoneyHighStreet – either check back soon or sign-up to our Free weekly newsletter to make sure you keep up to date with our council tax articles and all our personal finance news, reviews and tips along with our latest special offers.

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