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What is council tax in the UK?
It is a mandatory tax applicable on your domestic property in the UK. It is collected by the local authorities. In 1993, this system was introduced 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.
The revenue collected on the domestic properties is used for local services in your area.
Who pays the council tax?
A ‘liable person’ is required to pay the council tax. It is generally one person who owns the property and is aged above 18.
Anyone aged under 18 is exempted from the council tax.
Couples who live together are said to be ‘jointly liable,’ i.e. both are equally liable to pay the tax.
Usually, the person who resides in the property is applicable to pay the bill. However, sometimes, the property owner is entitled to make the payment even when someone else lives on his property.
What months do you not require to pay the council tax bill?
Usually, the council tax bill amount is divided over ten months, i.e. your bill is to be paid in ten monthly instalments.
It means that you do not have to pay the council tax on the remaining two months of the year. Generally, these months are February and March.
This is known as a council tax break.
Although, these months may differ. These months generally depend on your payment schedule that has been set up with the local council.
It is, however, not necessary that you should pay the council tax in only ten months. You can also extend the number of instalments to twelve to make even smaller payments per month. You might not get the council tax-free months, but lesser instalments might help you in household budgeting.
You can contact your local council to organize your payment schedule or split your council tax payment.
To know if you are entitled to tax-free months, you can check your bill. You might also check the direct debit plan on your online council tax portal.
Who has to pay the council tax?
Anyone who is above 18 and owns or rents a property is categorized as a ‘liable person’ and is required to pay the council tax.
The council tax can be jointly liable if there is more than one adult living in the house.
However, if someone has been ‘disregarded’ by the local council, he does not need to pay the council tax.
Who is considered as ‘disregarded’?
The local authorities check if the member counts as disregarded or not before assessing the council tax. Someone is considered as disregarded if he is
- aged below 18
- a full-time college or university student
- a student nurse
- Foreign language assistant
- someone who is mentally impaired
- a carer for anyone but not as a child or a partner
- a diplomat
Who is eligible for complete exemption in the Council tax?
Some groups are eligible for complete exemption on the Council tax. You will not require to pay 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
Who can get a discount on the Council tax?
In certain cases, you are eligible for a discount on the council tax. Here are certain conditions listed below to know whether you can avail of a discount on your council tax bill. This discount is referred to as Council Tax Reduction.
- If you are a full-time student or student nurse, you could qualify for a 25 per cent reduction on the bill.
- If you are the sole occupier, i.e. you are the only adult residing in the property, you are eligible for a 25 per cent reduction on your council tax bill.
- You can also apply for Council Tax Reduction if you are low on income.
- If you are disabled or are living with a person who is disabled, you are entitled to a discount on the bill. The council usually takes a payment for one band value down of your property. However, your house must be equipped with all the basic requirements of the disabled.
- A care leaver or one who spends time in child care might be eligible for the council tax reduction.
- If a person is suffering from coronavirus, he is entitled to a discount on his Council tax bill.
How to assess your council tax bill?
The local authorities calculate your bill based on the band value of your property. The value of your property as of April 1, 1991, is considered to calculate the band value of your property.
You can check your band value through your address or postal code. You might also contact the local authorities.
How to know the Council tax band of your property in the UK?
You can either check your band value through your address or postal code or contact the local authorities of our area.
There are eight council tax bands. Generally, council tax bands are assessed differently in different regions, including Wales, Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland.
You can also find out your Council tax band by considering the table given below.
|Valuation band||Value of your property|
|A||up to £40,000|
|B||£40,000 – £52,000|
|E||£88,000 – £120,000|
|F||£120,000 – £160,000|
|G||£160,000 – £320,000|
|H||more than £320,000|
If the band value of your property is higher, you would be required to pay more council tax.