If there is one household bill that everyone hates to pay each and every month it has to be the dreaded council tax, there is no doubt that it is one of the most complained about costs in the UK especially as austerity measures have meant that we get less and less for our money year on year.
But did you know that you may be one of the already 500, 000 people who have challenged their council tax band looking to get a reduction and even in some cases a rebate too. Here is our very simple guide to checking your council tax band along with how to challenge and possibly get a significant reduction too.
How are the different bands divided across the UK?
Well as with almost everything the council tax banding system varies depending on whether you live in England, Scotland or Wales.
If you pay council tax in England click to see the bands on the governments web site,
If you pay council tax in Wales click to see the bands on the government’s web site,
If you pay council tax in Scotland click to see the bands on the government’s web site,
There are different systems running across all three parts of the UK so be sure to click on the correct link depending on where you are living and paying council tax.
Why might I be in the Wrong Band?
As with anything of this nature it goes back in time, all the way back to 1991 when homes were allocated their original council tax bands, the task of allocating the bands was huge and time was very short, this has resulted in many homes being placed in a higher band than they should. It some cases next door neighbors in the identical size property with matching values are paying vastly different sums.
Can I Challenge?
Yes you can, assuming that you have a genuine belief that you are paying too much for your council tax based on the value and subsequent banding of your property
Before you do challenge, make sure you do some simple checks to establish whether or not you may have a valid reason to challenge:
- Compare your band with the neighbors, you don’t have to go knocking on the door you can simply do this by checking on either of these two sites:
- Find the value of your home in 1991, as that’s when and how the council tax bands were defined, and this is where the problem started, you will then need to check if the property was put in the right band.
- If you bought your home after 1991, rent it or its newer then you can use the land register or a good site to use is Zoopla.
- Now this is vital, before you challenge make sure that you are certain that you are paying too much and not too little, if you get this wrong you may see a hike in your council tax band.
- If you are happy that you are paying too much then you can challenge your banding HERE.