Council Tax makes up a large part of your monthly expenditure so wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce the amount you pay, and even better if you could get a nice fat cheque at the same time?
Well, maybe you can. Apparently up to 400,000 houses in the UK have been assigned to the wrong council tax band and it’s really easy to check if your house is one of them. If it is, you could have your future Council Tax payments reduced and get a rebate for any past overpayments.
It’s basically due to the fact that when Council Tax was first introduced, the government needed every house in the country to be put into a valuation band and due to the sheer size of this job, a lot of properties were allocated a band based purely on someone driving past the house. The valuation bands have never been reassessed since this time and there have been a lot of cases where homes in the same street have been assigned to different valuation bands. When local councils have been challenged about this, the bands are being reassessed and in a lot of cases, have been reduced with back payments been made to the owners of the properties concerned.
You can check first of all what Council Tax band you and the rest of your neighbours are classified as by entering your postcode here if you’re in England or Wales or here if you live in Scotland. If you find that you’re in a higher bracket than any of your neighbours (as long as they have a similar size house to yours) then you have a good case for asking for your band to be reassessed.
There’s a lot more information about how to go about doing this over on MoneySavingExpert and I’d strongly recommend having a good read if you do find that you’re paying more than your neighbours. There’s a second test to do as well as a few words of warning about the possibility of your neighbours bands being increased to match yours rather than yours being decreased to match theirs (rare but it has happened to some).
It takes about thirty seconds to check your bands by doing the postcode checker above and this is by far the strongest indication of how good a case you have.
It’s worth a try, isn’t it? 😉