Council tax bill: increase in April 2022 and importance of council tax bands
Many households within the UK will be faced with a higher council tax bill by April 2022. The council tax increase will consist of two parts – the first part is the standard 2% threshold that councils are permitted to increase bills by. The second part is related to ‘social care’ which will be 3%; in total, local authorities can only increase council tax by 5%.
The average council tax bill is approximately £1.428 according to the?Institute for Fiscal Studies and therefore, a 2.8% increase would mean that residents may have to pay £40 extra next year.
Despite this, there is a possibility for some households to cut their council tax bill depending on whether they fit the eligibility criteria such as being a single adult or having a low income. In this blog, we will explore why council tax bands are important, the appeal process and council tax discounts and exceptions.
Why are council tax bands important?
Council tax bands range from A to H, where properties within the ‘A band’ are considered the most affordable. These council tax bands were introduced in 1993 and therefore properties have not been revalued for an exceptionally long time which means that your current property may have transitioned into a different band without your knowledge leading to a higher council tax bill.
One way to find out how much you should be paying is to compare your property with other properties around your neighbourhood. You can do this comparison by searching for your property in the Council Tax Valuation List here: Check your Council Tax band - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The appeal process
If you discover that your property falls into a higher band compared to your neighbours living in comparable properties, then it is possible that you can appeal your council tax band. To do this, you can contact your local valuation office to challenge it or make a proposal, which is a formal application stating that your council band has changed. You will usually receive a response within two months in which your property would be re-evaluated and placed into a different council tax band, thus reducing the amount you must pay, or you will be informed that your council tax band cannot be changed. A successful appeal would mean that you will receive a refund of your overpayments. If the appeal is unsuccessful, you can make a claim to an independent valuation tribunal.
Some residents are eligible for discounts even if their property is in the correct council tax band. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
If someone in your household is disabled, you may be entitled to a reduction in council tax.
If you are a single adult, you may be entitled to a 25% discount in your council tax bill.
If you are a student, you do not have to pay council tax and if you are living with a student, you will only be required to pay for one adult.
If you are on a low income or claim benefits, you may also be eligible for a reduction in council tax.
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