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What is council tax in the UK?
It is a tax collected by the local authorities on your domestic property. This system was introduced in 1993 under the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Each local property is assigned a council tax band. The council tax is evaluated on the basis of it. If the value of the property is higher, you are entitled to pay a higher council tax on that property.
How to register yourself for the council tax?
You must register for the council tax if you have recently moved into the house. You must also register if you have changed the address recently. Here are several ways by which you could get yourself registered for the council tax.
You can access your Council tax online. Go to the ‘Council Tax’ portal. Select the ‘ View change of address services under the ‘tell us you have moved’ option. Now select the appropriate option.
However, you should complete the above steps to complete the registration for council tax. After you have been registered successfully, a tax account number will be provided.
Through a registration form
Download the registration form of council tax in pdf format. Fill in all the essential details and post the form to the address given below.
Corporate and Customer Services/ Revenues
London, N22 7WJ
Through the Council Tax Office
Contact the Council Tax Office and provide all the details to get yourself registered. These details include your property address and the names of every member above the age of 18 residing in that property. You would also need to provide the date of purchase or rental of the property or the date you moved into it.
How to assess your council tax?
To assess the amount for paying council tax, you must know a few things. You must know the valuation band of your property along with the local council charges for that band. You must also know if you avail of any reduction or exemption from the council tax.
If you have a low income, you could avail of a discount on Council Tax.
How to know your Council Tax Band?
You can know your Council Tax Band through your property address or postcode. You might also contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
You can challenge your Council Tax Band if you think it has been wrongly assessed.
The Council Tax Bands are assessed differently for Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What are the circumstances when the Council Tax Band might change?
Here is a list of circumstances when the Council Tax Band on your property might change.
- If your property has been demolished and has not been rebuilt.
- Self-contained flats have been made through your property.
- The flats have been converted to a single property.
- You have started working from home.
- You have stopped working from home.
- The property has been converted into HMO( house of multiple occupations).
- If your property has been split into self-contained flats, each of them will have a separate council tax band evaluation
- Some changes have been made to the property by the previous owner.
- Certain changes in your local area
In all of the above circumstances, there might be a change in the council tax band evaluation of your property. Hence, you must contact the local authority in all such cases.
Who is eligible for a discount on the council tax?
Some people qualify for a reduction on their council tax bill. You can get a discount on the Council Tax if you are
- A full-time student: If you are a full-time student or student nurse, you are eligible for a reduction in the amount of council tax. You would qualify for a 25 per cent reduction on the bill.
- Sole occupier: If you are the sole occupier, i.e. you are the only adult residing in the property, you are entitled to a 25 per cent reduction in the council tax bill.
- having a low income: If you are low on income, you can apply for Council Tax Reduction.
- Disabled person: If you are disabled or are living with a person who is disabled, you are eligible for a discount on the bill. However, your house must have facilities to meet the requirements of the disabled person.
In this case, your council bill will be evaluated on the basis of one band value down. For instance, if your property has a band vale ‘E,’ and you qualify for a discount as a person with a disability, your council tax will be evaluated according to the band value ‘D.’
- a Care leaver: A care leaver or one who spends time in child care might be eligible for the council tax reduction.
- affected by COVID-19: If a person is suffering from coronavirus, he might also get the benefit from Council tax reduction on his bill.
Who is eligible for exemption in the Council tax?
Some groups are completely exempted from paying any Council tax. You will not incur any Council tax if you are
- a student
- living in care homes
- a patient staying in hospital or are mentally impaired
- staying in hostels
- staying with a person who has a disability but not in a relationship with them as a partner or a child.
- a care worker for a charity
- a member of any religious community
Is council tax payable on empty homes?
According to a change in the council policy in 2013, it was introduced that empty properties would not be exempted from the Council tax. This change has been made to utilise the empty properties for use. ‘Empty homes’ also include your second homes as well.
How to manage your online council tax account?
Your council tax account can be accessed online. You can view your bills and balance online, and you can make payments for your bill through it. Moreover, you can request a copy of the bill and can also apply for a refund or a discount on your council tax bill.