Featured on the BBC, The One show on the 26th of November 2009.
A guide on how to save money on your Council Tax bill and get rebates for being in the wrong band.
This web page only applies to Council Tax in England and Scotland.
I decided to create this Website as a result of savings my family has made by challenging our Council Tax band. If you follow the same steps it is quite possible you can save thousands of pounds over the duration of living in your home! Please read this whole page carefully and follow the steps as there is the risk you could end up paying more if you challenge your council tax band without being thorough. If you have added an extension or done any work that has dramatically increased the price of your property I would be very careful in making any claims to lower your council tax band.
How council tax bills were calculated.
Back in 1991 local councils had to value all the properties in their area. Needless to say this was a bit of a rushed job! The result of rushing the process was a number of people have ended up in the wrong Council Tax band. Unlike in Wales where the Council Tax bands have been recalculated. England and Scotland local authorities still use these original banding estimates!
Personally my family have saved several hundred pounds a year and received a rebate in the area of £1000 going back to when the council tax was implemented in 1993. These figures are not uncommon in fact they are quite normal.
The process to follow for re banding.
Check your Council Tax Band.
The best way to check if you are in the right band is first to compare your band to the similar houses around you, thankfully this is easily done online. If for example you are the only house in band F when all of your neighbours are in band E, it could well be worth looking into the issue more thoroughly, IF they are all similar houses.
Check your Council Tax Band in England by following this link. Valuation Office Agency
Check your Council Tax Band in Scotland by following this link. Scottish Assessors Association
Check the value of your home.
Another way to check if it is worth contesting your Council Tax band is to check the property value of your house. The Council Tax bands were calculated in 1991 for when the Council Tax was implemented in 1993 so we need to work out the value of your house in 1991. To get an idea of the value of your house now you can use a free site like www.houseprices.co.uk I would suggest finding a few other sources to check your house value now and work out an average value.
Once you have established the current valuation, visit the Nationwide house price calculator enter your information and work out the value of your house in 1991. Once you have your house's price compare it to the chart below listing the property values and bands of houses in 1991. This is the chart your local council would have used. As it is the responsibility of your local council to set the fee for the bands, council tax rates vary across England and Scotland.
If the value in 1991 was:
- £40k and below band A
- £40k-£52k band B
- £52k-£68 band C
- £68k-£88k band D
- £88k-£120k band E
- £120k-£160k band F
- £160k-£320k band G
- Over £320k band H
You should now be able to tell if the council tax band you are in matches with the real value of your house in 1991. As always I would urge caution on the result of this information but it should give you a general idea if you have a case.
Once again the people to contact to contest your band is the Valuation Office Agency It can be as simple as contacting the VOA and asking them to check your band(as was the case with my family).
Other people report having a harder time, a common objection from the VOA is that you have been in the property more than six months. The local listings Office is legally obliged to make sure all Council Tax bands are accurate. If you are persistent they should investigate your case. There is a lot more information on their website about appeal procedures if you believe you are in the right. If all else fails I suggest putting your case in writing as this can make all the difference.
What to do next.
If the VOA has agreed to look into your case you can expect to wait four to six weeks and you will be notified by letter of the outcome.
I would appreciate you emailing me with your details. I do not require any personal information or your address just a general overview of your story to help others. Success Stories.
Finally if my website does save you money, I would ask that you make a donation to help me fund further public information sites that I am working on :) This can be done securely through pay pal Donations. Thank-you in advance! and I wish you good luck.
Ways to Reduce your Council Tax bill further.
You may be able to get discounts on your bill if:
- You are disabled.
- On a low income.
- The property is empty.
- You are the only adult.
- You are a student nurse.
- You are a student.
For more detailed information follow this link www.direct.gov.uk
Daily Mail article and guide on Council Tax errors. Daily Mail 700,000 overcharged in the great council tax 'cover-up'
Eric Pickles MP Council Tax Statement website. For more detailed information follow this link www.ericpickles.com
Council Tax Rebate does not guarantee any accuracy in the above information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage, whatsoever, consequential upon any error, mis-description or other inadequacy on this site. Persons using Council Tax Rebate information do so entirely at their own risk.