As the cost of living crisis continues to hit peoples’ pockets, Britons are being reminded that certain groups don’t have to pay Council Tax. Almost three million people are missing out to the tune of around £900 each – could you be one of them?
With a Council Tax rise set to go ahead for households in April many Britons will be worried how they are going to make ends meet.
More than half of all local authorities (89 out of 151) are planning a rise of 2.99 percent.
It means that from April, almost half of council areas will have a Band D bill higher than £2,000.
The Greater London Authority will raise bills in the capital by 8.8 percent, a rise of £31.93 on a Band D bill.
People can search for their Council Tax band on the Government’s website or find it on last year’s bill.
While an increase will worry many households, financial experts are urging people to check whether they are receiving all the discounts they are entitled to.
Latest figures show that almost three million people could be paying too much by not claiming their reductions.
Poverty charity Turn2Us claims £2.6billion is left unclaimed in Council Tax reductions which are unclaimed by 2,770,000 people.
Seven groups of Britons typically qualify for free Council Tax or a significant reduction on their bill.
- People on a low income could be eligible for a Council Tax reduction of up to 100 percent
- Pensioners who receive the guarantee credit part of pension credit may not have to pay council tax
- Single person households should receive a 25 percent discount
- Disabled people – the bill may be reduced if a person with a disability lives there.
- Students – or households with one student should receive a discount
- People who are severely mentally impaired including people with dementia receive a discount
- Carers sometimes get a reduction depending on their circumstances
On average Britons are missing out to the tune of £938 per person which could be a lifeline for people on low incomes or state benefits.
Each local authority has different criteria for who is eligible to claim a council tax reduction so it’s worth getting in touch even if someone doesn’t fit into one of the seven groups.
People can write to their local council when they receive their bill.
The council will ask for supporting evidence and come to a decision within two months.
Meanwhile, 80 percent of households who live in a Band A to D property are due a £150 rebate this April.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a discretionary fund of £144million to support people on a low income who don’t pay Council Tax.
Britons who are exempt from paying Council Tax could still get financial help worth £150.
They will need to get in touch with their local authority to find out.