How To Calculate Council Tax

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Every year, thousands of citizens have to pay their first council tax. This doesn’t have to be difficult, but can be scary if you’ve never had to figure out what your council tax rate might be. Buying a house within council boundaries means that you need to pay taxes on it, but those can be difficult to figure out if you’re a first-time homeowner. Don’t fear what the council may say if you pay the incorrect amount—instead, make sure to read through this and quickly learn all you need to know about council taxes. Council taxes are divided into eight different bands, and these bands are all based on how much your home is worth. The more expensive your home is, the more you have to pay in council taxes. If you’ve recently purchased a house and aren’t sure what a council tax is or how it may affect you, read on to learn more.

What Is Council Tax?

Council tax might be a new concept for those who have just bought their first house. Council tax is just another way for the government to collect taxes, but these are specifically property taxes. If you live in a house, you have to pay council tax on it! Bills for council taxes are typically sent out in April and can be paid in ten easy instalments if you don’t have all the money with you in April. Council taxes are paid either every two weeks or every four weeks and are separated into eight different bands. These bands dictate how much money you need to pay the council, and are designated based on alphabetical levels. A is the lowest band you can belong to, and H is the highest amount of taxes you theoretically could pay.

Who Has To Pay Council Tax?

So who in your community has to pay council tax? That’s easy to figure out. Anyone who owns property needs to pay their council taxes. However, if the only properties you own are condemned, repossessed, currently unlived-in, or only lived in by people under eighteen years of age, you may not have to pay any taxes on them! This is to prevent people from being taxed unfairly for homes that they can’t use or to prevent the overtaxing of people who may not make much money. If your home is currently occupied by people over eighteen, asylum seekers, multiple different families, or even just people staying there temporarily, you will have to pay council taxes. Only one person will be required to pay taxes on a property, and they’re called the “liable person”. If you both own and live in a home, that makes you the liable person. If that situation isn’t true, though, a hierarchy of liability needs to be established. Another person who lives in your home full-time is the next most liable person, and then any renters you may have. If neither of these options is liable for the home, squatters become liable to pay council taxes, and then finally the owner of an uninhabited home is liable to pay council taxes. The price of these taxes may vary. Based on the value of your property, you’ll be assigned a different council band, and that will dictate how expensive your taxes are. If you live alone, are disabled, or have a very low income, you may be eligible to cancel your council tax. You can view your council tax bill online to pay.

What Band Am I In For Council Tax, and How Much Council Tax Do I Pay?

If you find yourself asking “What council tax band am I?” it’s time to figure it out. Your council tax will vary based on how much your property is worth. There are several council tax online services that can provide you with a council tax checker, or you can do your own research to determine what band your home most likely falls under. If you just bought your home, it’s easy to find out how much it’s worth, but if you’ve lived in your house for a long time, it can be more difficult to figure out its price. To find a council tax band, consider several things about your home. How much was your home worth in 1991? The council tax bands rank your property from A to H. Houses in the A category were worth £40,000 in 1991, and houses in the B category were worth £40,000 to £52,000 in 1991. Houses in the C category were worth £52,000 to £68,000, houses in the D category were worth £68,000 to £88,000, houses in the E category were worth £88,000 to £120,000, and houses in the F category were worth £120,000 to £160,000. Houses more expensive than that fall into the G and H categories, which are £160,000 to £320,000 and more than £320,000, respectively. If you’re not sure how much your home is still worth, you can find the information online at or on your last council tax bill. Your local council may also have records stating how much your home is worth, available for a small charge at your local library. If your council band changes, your local council will send you a letter to notify you, so ensure that you have a mailing address on file with your council. You will receive a new total after this happens, so make sure to keep an eye on your mail during tax season. Keep in mind that your council taxes may vary between the years, so the price and value of your home may also fluctuate. It’s not strange to pay different amounts of council taxes in different years.

My Council Tax Band Is Wrong! What Do I Do?

If your council tax band is wrong, don’t panic! You must appeal for the band to change with your local Valuation Office Agency, which can be found at 03000 501 501. This is the official telephone number for their offices in England, but if you’re living in Wales, you can find them at 03000 505 505. You’ll need several documents to prove that your band is wrong, too, including the addresses, ages, styles, bands, and types of five different houses that are similar to yours and in a lower tax band. Remember that your VOA will not accept prices for houses found online, using websites like Zoopla, Rightmove, or the Nationwide House Price Index. These sums are often just for people who want money and can be easily misguided. Instead, use your local archives to learn more about the houses you need as evidence. When the Valuation Office Agency makes its decision on your home, it should take about two months to learn the outcome. If you still don’t agree with their decision for your home’s council tax band, you can formally appeal to them to reconsider. To do this, you must have either moved in within the last 6 months, have your band changed within the last 6 months, have had your property demolished, have adapted your home for someone with a disability, or faced significant property damage since 1991 that would have otherwise brought up the price of your home. It’s not difficult to change your tax band—you just need to make sure that your local Valuation Office Agency knows what’s going on and the changes that might have faced your home since their last evaluation.

Are Some Properties Exempt From Council Tax?

Some properties are exempt from council tax, and they don’t need to be evaluated. Condemned properties, properties that have been repossessed by the bank, a guesthouse, or a very large houseboat aren’t considered properties that need to be taxed by the council. Similarly, if all of the people who reside in a home are under eighteen, disabled, or severely mentally impaired, that household wouldn’t need to pay council taxes. If you have an older or infirm relative who has recently begun to live somewhere else, like a care home, or you have a relative who’s moved away to care for an infirm loved one, neither of these people would need to pay council taxes on their unoccupied homes. Similarly, a student discount exists. If all of the members of a household are students or foreign language assistants, that house would not qualify to pay council taxes.

Calculating Your Council Taxes

If you need to quickly figure out how much you need to pay in council taxes, don’t let it be difficult! Your council taxes are regularly calculated based on how much money your house is worth, and depending on the circumstances of your household, you may or may not need to pay them. Council tax rebates are a nice thing to earn at the end of tax season. If your second home is currently unoccupied, you don’t have to pay council tax on it. Overall, calculating your council taxes can be simple, and if you think that you’ve been placed in the wrong band, it can be easy to fix. There are plenty of ways to learn more about what you need to do to pay your council tax.

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