Council Tax

What is a council tax bill?

A council tax bill is a system used by local authorities for taxation. These taxes are on domestic properties though some of these properties are exempt from tax. It is possible that some may not have to pay this tax at all while others may have to pay a discounted amount.

All homes fall under a valuation band by the VOA or the Valuation Office Agency. This council tax band is based on your home's value as of April 1, 1991. Each band is charged a separate council tax. The local authority in each area keeps a list of all the domestic properties in the area as well as the valuation band that it falls under. This constitutes the valuation list. These valuation bands are from A to H where A is for properties that are of a value of up to £ 40,000 and the band H is for values more than £ 320,000.

To find out what band the a particular property falls into, you can either:

What properties are exempted from the council tax?

Some properties could be exempt from a council tax for a short period or indefinitely. These include:

If your property is eligible for exemption of the council tax, you must consult an adviser.

Who needs to pay council tax?

It is just the "liable" person who is required to pay the council tax. He or she cannot be under the age of 18; even if there is only one name on the bill, couples who live together means both of them are liable for the council tax. This is true in case the couple is in a civil relationship, cohabiting or married.

The owner of the property is usually the liable person for council tax if:

If only one person occupies the property, then he or she is liable to pay council tax. If there are more occupants then a hierarchy of liability is followed. Whoever is at the top or closest is liable; two people at the same level on the hierarchy will both be liable. Here is the hierarchy for your reference:

How much council tax must I pay?

A rate for council tax is set each year by the local authorities. Some people do not have to pay the entire amount. These are the ways in which your council tax amount can be reduced:

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