Britons paying over £4,000 council tax in some parts of the country with April rises due

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Martin Lewis speaks on council tax updates

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Rutland was found to have the most expensive council tax for the 2021 to 2022 financial year, with residents paying between £1,429 and £4,287. The majority of councils are planning to increase their council taxes by 2.99 percent in April, but Britons struggling with the cost of living crisis could qualify for a discount or reduction.

In the Autumn Budget last year Chancellor Rishi Sunak provided councils with the power to increase their council tax by three percent without needing a referendum. 

This can be increased by an additional two percent with a referendum, but 89 out of 151 councils plan to increase it by 2.99 percent. 

These tax rises are expected to be used to cover the unprecedented costs of the pandemic on local authorities. 

The pandemic cost some London boroughs an estimated £1.8billion whilst they also saw £1.1billion lost in taxes and income. 

Now, the funding gap burden has been passed onto residents as they struggle under the burden of energy bill rises, other tax hikes and skyrocketing inflation. 

Understanding the extreme pressures the British public is being put under, Mr Sunak announced in February a package of assistance that will be provided to Britons. 

This includes a £150 council tax rebate for all households in Bands A to D which will not need to be repaid. 

He noted in the announcement that 80 percent of all homes in England would benefit from this once-off rebate. 

Additionally, a £200 loan will be made to residents to help with heating costs which will be paid back over the coming years through £40 annual instalments. 

Since the announcement, the Valuation Office Agency, who provides valuation services that the council tax bands are based on, have been almost inundated with appeals from residents wanting to lower their council tax band in order to qualify for the rebate. 

Criticism has also been made on the council tax rebate as it will not be of any use to the most vulnerable of households that usually already receive council tax discounts or exemptions. 

Council tax is calculated based on two adults in a household, with this in mind one of the easiest discounts to claim is the Single Person Discount. 

Where a single adult is living on their own, or everyone else in the home is disregarded, they can receive a 25 percent discount. 

Additionally, there are a range of criteria that could count individuals as disregarded which provides a discount on the households’ council tax bill.

Individuals that can be disregarded are those:

  • Under the age of 18
  • On certain apprentice schemes
  • 18 or 19-years-old and in full-time education
  • A full-time student at college or university
  • Under the age of 25 and receiving funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • Student nurses
  • Foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • Britons who are severely mentally impaired
  • Live-in carers for someone that is not their partner, spouse or child under the age of 18
  • Diplomats. 

Britons may also be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction depending on what benefits they receive and the other people living with them. 

These factors may also impact how much of a reduction they receive. 

To find out if they are eligible and how much of a reduction they can receive Britons should contact their local council. 

Britons are also warned that they can receive discounts or rebates by mistake and any household that experiences this should contact their local council as soon as possible to avoid receiving a fine. 

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