Council tax is probably one of your largest bills, so make sure you are paying the right amount! There are three things you can check.
Are you in the right Council Tax band?
If your house or flat is much the same as others in the road / block, then you should all be in the same council tax band. It’s easy to see if you are by checking on this government website.
If this suggests that your home is in a higher band than it should be, it is worth looking at whether you should ask your council to look into this. MoneySavingExpert has a good guide to challenging your council tax banding. This doesn’t take long to do and it could save you hundreds of pounds a year – and this could be backdated to when you moved in!
Who is living in your home?
If you are the only adult in your house, you should be getting a 25% single person discount.
Some people are ignored for council tax, so if there are two adults but one of them is a student, the student is ignored and the other adult should get the 25% discount. If everyone in the house is a student, no council tax should be charged.
Other people who “don’t count” for council tax include long term care home residents, some apprentices and people who because of immigration rules are not allowed to work or claim benefits. There is a full list on this Citizens Advice page.
Are you on a low income?
If you are on benefits or a low wage, you may be able to claim Council Tax Support which will help with paying some of your council tax. You can apply for Council Tax Support on your council’s website:
Get help if you are finding it hard to pay Council Tax
Council Tax needs to be one of your priorities as councils are very quick to take you to court and then send round the bailiffs if you get behind. Other important bills include your rent/mortgage, heating, food and transport. Loans and credit cards are non-priority debts.
It can be hard to juggle all the bills and expenses you have. If you go to your local Citizens Advice office they can check on your Council Tax Support, help you see if you are entitled to any extra benefits, look at other ways to improve your finances and talk about your options if you have debts.