Five ways to save on your council tax
With finances already strained by rising cost of living and energy bills, housing tax increases announced in the recent budget could deal another blow to households. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has predicted that the tax could rise to as much as £ 220 ($ 296) over the next few years if more central funding is not given to the councils.
With an average bill for a D-Band property already at £ 1,898, higher bills could squeeze budgets even further. With that in mind, it’s worth seeing if there are ways to save money.
We’re taking a look at how you can check if you’re overpaying, along with some other tips to help keep costs down.
1. Challenge your group
A good way to reduce municipal tax costs is to check if your home is in the correct band and dispute that if you think it is not. According to personal finance site Money.co.uk, anyone who is in the wrong group could unwittingly pay up to 20% more each year.
James Andrews of Money.co.uk said: “The first step to reducing your municipal tax payments is to check your tax bracket on the government website. If you think your group is wrong, you can appeal.
To check your group, go here. If you’re in the wrong group, you might be able to get hundreds of pounds back.
But be sure to do your research first, as you may see housing tax go up or down.
2. Get a discount for living alone
If you are the only adult living in your accommodation, you should be eligible for a 25% discount.
Nick Drewe, money saving expert on the online rebate platform WeThrift, said: “Living alone allows you to enjoy a 25% discount on your bill, saving you hundreds of dollars per year. It will make a special difference when prices go up.
Based on the average municipal tax bill of £ 1,898 for a D-Band property, you’ll save £ 475 with the single person discount, so it’s worth talking to your local authority.
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3. Students shouldn’t pay a dime
Full-time students shouldn’t have to pay housing tax.
Alastair Douglas of credit scoring specialist, TotallyMoney.com, said: “In households where everyone is a full-time student, you don’t have to pay. If you receive an invoice, request an exemption.
You can do it here.
To count as a full-time student, your course must last at least one year and involve at least 21 hours of study per week.
4. Save if you receive benefits
If you are on low income or currently receive benefits, including Crédit Universel, you may be entitled to a reduction on your municipal tax bill.
The amount by which you can reduce your bill will depend on where you live, as each municipality operates its own reduction program. It also depends on your personal situation, including your income, the number of children you have and the benefits you are applying for.
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5. Claiming a reduction as a caregiver
If you are a caregiver or live with a caregiver, you may be able to request a reduction. The same goes if you have a health problem or a disability, or if you live with someone who has it.
In addition, people diagnosed with a serious mental health problem are also eligible for a discount.
Watch: Why Are Home Prices Going Up?