Council Tax bands: check yours and see if you are due a reduction


Updated on 21 February 2018

Council Tax bands dictate how much tax you have to pay on your home. Check your band now as you could be due a Council Tax reduction if you're on the wrong one.

What's my Council Tax band?

The Council Tax band you are in depends on the value of your home, or more accurately its value back in 1991 when the current council tax system was introduced.

The Council Tax band that your house falls into will dictate how much Council Tax you pay, the further into the alphabet you get the more tax you’ll pay.

Band

1991 Property value in England

1991 Property value in Scotland

A

All properties worth less than £40,000

All properties worth under £27,000

B

£40,001 - £52,000

£27,001 - £35,000

C

£52,001 - £68,000

£35,001 - £45,000

D

£68,001 - £88,000

£45,001 - £58,000

E

£88,001 - £120,000

£58,001 - £80,000

F

£120,001 - £160,000

£80,001 - £106,000

G

£160,001 - £320,000

£106,001 - £212,000

H

All properties worth over £320,000

All properties worth over £212,000

The problem is that your house may not have been correctly valued back in 1991.

The Government needed every house in the country valued fast so in the rush to do it many valuations were based simply on two people driving up and down streets in a car assigning values based on a passing glance at the property.

So, there is a good chance your house was incorrectly valued and therefore it is in the wrong Council Tax band.

Council Tax reduction: check if you're overpaying

There are two ways you can check if your house is in the right Council Tax band.

The first thing is to compare your band with that of your neighbours. This is easy to do, you just need to enter your postcode on the Valuation Office Agency’s website for England and Wales or the Scottish Assessors Association for Scotland.

Here you can see a list of the Council Tax band for all the properties on your street and in your neighbourhood.

If your house is in a different band to your neighbours, you may have a case for getting your band changed and reducing your Council Tax.

But be careful: you may instead find your band stays the same and your neighbours have theirs changed so they owe more Council Tax.

So, before you put in a challenge try and work out what your house would have been worth back in 1991. This is easy if you’ve lived in it for over 27 years, but if you haven’t you’ll need to do a little online research.

You can get a rough idea of what your house was worth by entering your most recent valuation into the Nationwide House Price Index then asking it to calculate the value back in 1991.

Once you have a 1991 valuation compare it to the Council Tax bands table above to see if your house is in the right Council Tax band.

If you think your Council Tax band is wrong, you can ask for a ‘reassessment’. If you live in England or Wales, you can do this by contacting the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). You’ll need to fill out a Property Details Questionnaire then send it to the VOA.

Anyone living in Scotland can appeal their band via the Scottish Assessors Association.

If you are successful and your Council Tax band is changed meaning you pay less, then the good news is you should also receive a rebate for the extra tax you’ve paid dating back to when you moved into the property or 1993, whichever is earlier.

Council Tax payments: your opions

There is no set way that you have to pay your Council Tax. You’ll receive a bill once a year and this will usually set out repayments over 10 months. But, you can ask to pay over 12 months and some councils will allow you to pay in weekly amounts.

Once you’ve agreed your repayment terms set up a direct debit so the money is automatically taken then make sure you have enough in your bank account to cover the amount so there is no risk of you falling into arrears.

If you can afford to pay your whole bill upfront then ask your council if it offers any discount for doing so, as some will.

Paying Council Tax online

Paying Council Tax online is an increasingly popular method. To do so, simply head to the following online payment page for Council Tax, enter your postcode and then follow instructions. You will be given the option to make a payment, set up a direct debit or explore other payment options. 

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