Council Tax: Expert discusses potential rise
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The worsening cost of living crisis has left millions of people counting the pennies as energy costs continue to soar and inflation skyrockets. Britons are trying hard to find savings in their monthly spending by cancelling subscription services, reducing their energy consumption, and by switching suppliers. Depending on the circumstances, some Britons may be entitled to a discount on their council tax, or could be exempted from paying it.
For an exemption, it generally depends on who lives in the property or how it’s being used.
Properties are exempt if all the people living in them are full-time students or are all aged under 18 years.
People who have moved into a care home or hospital and people who is living with someone else to receive care do not have to pay.
Britons who suffer from severe mental impairments, in the past or currently have a drug dependence or a mental health disorder are also exempt from paying.
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Council tax bills assume that two adults occupy the property as their main home.
If only one resident lives in the property the council tax bill is reduced by 25 percent, this is known as the “single-person discount”.
According to the current rules, some people are not counted as a second resident for council tax bills, even if they live in the property and these are known as “disregarded persons”.
Examples of “disregarded people” can include an apprentice studying for a recognised qualification, an 18-year-old in full time education, a student nurse, or an unpaid carer if they are not the main resident’s partner.
Britons can qualify for a 25 percent single-person discount if you share your home with people who are considered “disregarded”.
If everyone in the home is “disregarded” then people will usually get a 50 percent discount.
Britons on a low income may eligible for a council tax reduction of up to 100 percent.
However, each local authority has different criteria for who is eligible to claim this reduction.
The size of the reduction usually depends on a person’s income, their savings and whether they live alone or with other adults in the same property.
All local councils have to provide a certain level of support for pensioners who have reached the state pension age.
Britons who receive the guarantee credit part of pension credit may not have to pay any council tax.
People who receive the savings part of pension credit or have a low income and less than £16,000 in savings may also receive a council tax discount.
Some councils offer temporary reductions for people experiencing “exceptional hardship” for reasons beyond a person’s control such as losing a job.
People here should contact their local authority for help as the discount is given at their discretion.
People will also have to provide evidence for the help, this includes showing proof that their income is less than their outgoings, they have no savings and don’t have access to other assets which could pay the bill.
If people don’t qualify for a council tax reduction, but they share a home with a second adult who does then they may be able to claim a “second adult rebate”.
There are reductions available for those with second homes and people who have a separate annexe built onto their land, that is if it is used as a “main home”.
To receive a discount, a person must approach their local authority and if people are not sure who their council is, then they can use the Government’s online tool to find out.
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