PMQs: Boris Johnson responds to council tax criticism
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Usually, a person will need to pay council tax if they’re aged 18 or over and they own or rent a home. Certain people will be exempt from paying it, and some may qualify for either a 50 percent or a 25 percent discount due to their circumstances.
An example of getting the latter discount is if a person counts as an adult for council tax and they live on their own.
Alternatively, the adult could qualify for the 25 percent reduction if no one else in their home counts as an adult.
Bill-payers should receive a letter from their council informing them of how much they will need to pay over the course of the year.
Some will want to work out how much they face paying.
So, how is council tax worked out?
To do this, a person will need to know three different pieces of information.
First-up is the valuation band for their home, either in England and Wales or in Scotland – where the rates differ.
The second thing to know is how much the local council charges for that band.
Different councils can charge different amounts, meaning it can vary across different parts of the UK.
Finally, Britons will need to know whether or not they can get a discount or exemption from the full bill.
For instance, a full-time college and university students are not counted as adults for council tax.
As such, if everyone in the property is a full-time student, council tax will not need to be paid.
People on a low income or who receive benefits may be able to get a discount on their council tax.
This used to be called Council Tax Benefit, but it is now known as Council Tax Reduction.
If a person thinks their home is in the wrong valuation band, it can be challenged.
“You cannot appeal just because you think your Council Tax bill is too expensive,” the Government warns.
It may be changes affect the council tax band a person has, as GOV.UK explains.
The website states: “Your property may be revalued and put in a different band in some circumstances, for example if:
- You demolish part of your property and do not rebuild it
- You alter your property to create two or more self-contained units, for example an annexe – each unit will have its own band
- You split a single property into self-contained flats
- You convert flats into a single property
- You start or stop working from home
- The previous owner made changes to your property
- There are significant changes to your local area, like a new road being built
- A similar property in your area has its council tax band changed.”
Bill-payers are directed to ask the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) if they want to know if changes to the property will affect the Council Tax band.
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