Council Tax. Are You Paying More Than Your Neighbours? Check It Out
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Council tax eats up a huge chunk of many people’s budgets, yet there’s an easy way to check you’re not paying too much.
What’s the score?
How much council tax you pay depends on your property’s “banding”; a letter from A to H which varies according to the size, location and layout of your home. Yet many don’t realise it’s possible to challenge your banding and pay less tax.
Are you paying too much for your pad?
Sadly these bandings haven’t been revalued since the system began in 1993 so many are out of date – especially if you've had a night club built next to your house or it's been turned into flats (though you could also be paying too little if your home’s improved!).
It’s worth noting that properties in Wales were revalued last year; so if you’re Welsh your banding’s likely to be more accurate.
If you live by yourself (or with a student(s)) you pay less
Do remember those people living alone are entitled to the single person discount of 25% off their council tax bill. Also students don't pay council tax, thus two students together don't pay. If a student lives with a non-student, then as the student doesn't count the house's council tax bill is reduced as if its just a single person living there.
How to challenge your banding
This handy website allows you to check which bands your neighbours are in; if they’re all on a lower banding yet have similar sized houses, they may be a chance you can appeal.
Simply go here and click “go” to start. If you feel that your property band’s unfair the first step is to call your local listing officer, who will explain how the band was decided.
Finally, you can appeal online to the Valuation Office Agency to get your band changed.
If your case is rejected and you bought your house less than six months ago, then you have right of appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunals Service.
For the scottish version of this service see the Scottish Assessors site
Back to the original post..................
Are you paying more council tax than your neighbours?
Check it out at www.voa.gov.uk
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