Four ways, including Universal Credit, which could mean you pay NO council tax
THOUSANDS of households could not pay housing tax.
As energy bills, food and fuel costs rise, families are looking for ways to save money.
And if you have a low income or if you apply for allowances, you could benefit from a reduction on your council tax bill.
Some households may qualify for a 100% discount.
The discount you receive depends on a number of factors, including where you live, your income and your savings.
Here’s our list of those who can get a reduction and, in some cases, have their council tax bill completely erased.
If you live alone, you can benefit from a 25% reduction on your council tax bill.
This is also the case if there is an adult and a student living together in a house, or if there is an adult and a person classified as severely mentally retarded in the property.
If you live with a carer, who does not pay council tax, you could benefit from a reduction of up to 50%.
Plus, if you live in an all-student household, you could get a 100% discount.
A full list of circumstances which exempt you from paying council tax is available on Citizens Advice.
Retirees can also benefit from a reduction in the housing tax.
And if you have the Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit, you could even get a 100% discount.
You can also get help if you have a low income.
For example, retirees with less than £16,000 in savings could be eligible for a discount.
The discount available to singles is also available to pensioners, so if you are a pensioner living alone, you can benefit from a 25% discount.
Households with low incomes or receiving allowances can also benefit from a reduction in their housing tax.
But what you are entitled to will change depending on where you live.
For example, those on Universal Credit could be eligible for up to 100% off their council tax bill.
But again, it depends on where you live and your local council policy.
The quickest and best option will be to check with your council.
You can find out which council you should contact by using the government website.
But make sure all the information you get is clear as council tax is a priority bill – this means if you fall behind you may have to pay the full year’s balance in one go .
Non-payment can also result in bailiffs, lawsuits, or jail.
Second homes and empty properties
You generally have to pay council tax on property you own or rent that is not your main residence.
But your board may decide to give you a discount.
Plus, if you’re selling a property in the name of a deceased owner, you don’t need to pay tax until you’ve obtained “probate” – the legal right to manage someone’s property.
After obtaining probate, you may be able to obtain council tax exemption for an additional six months if the property is both unoccupied and still owned and in the name of the deceased.
Best to contact your local authority to see what you might be online for.
For more information, you can visit the government website.
People with Disabilities
You can apply for a reduction or exemption from council tax if you or someone you live with is disabled.
But you will need to show that you have either a bathroom, kitchen or other extra room you need for the disabled person, and/or extra space inside the property for the use of a wheelchair rolling.
There are also occasions when you can get a discount if you or someone you live with has a serious mental illness.
And you could get a 100% reduction if you have a severe mental impairment and one of the following applies:
- you live alone
- any other adult in your household is considered to have a severe mental disability or is a full-time student
You might also be in line for other lesser discounts, but that depends on your particular situation.
To find out more, you can visit the government website.
Other support with residence tax
There are other ways to get help paying your council tax.
This year the government is offering a £150 council tax rebate to all households in bands A to D.
The £150 does not need to be repaid, but the date you need to get it varies depending on where you live.
The government has told local authorities that their payments should be processed by September 30 this year.
However, depending on where you live, you will receive the money at different times.
You may have already received it, especially if you pay your housing tax by direct debit.
We revealed today that around 862,000 households had to repay council tax.