It’s not always obvious how and where to register for you council tax, so we are here to lend a hand. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about council tax including how much you should be paying and what discounts you may qualify for.
What is council tax?
Council tax is a local taxation system levied on domestic properties. The responsibility for paying council tax lies with the owner of the property, or the tenants in the case of rental properties.
Do I have to pay council tax?
It is mandatory for anyone over 18 and who owns or rents a property, although some people are exempt and discounts are offered. Get in touch with us to discuss which discounts you may be eligible for.
Why do I have to pay council tax?
The money raised by council tax goes towards funding local government, including policing, fire services, street cleaning and waste disposal.
How much do I have to pay for council tax?
Your council tax is calculated based on the value of your home. Houses are divided into different bands, each with a different amount payable in tax.
How do I know which council band my home is in?
You can find out your house’s council band any house in the UK by looking up its postcode using this government website:
Do I qualify for council tax discounts and exemptions?
If you are the only person in the household who is over the age of 18 then your council bill will be reduced by 25%. If you are 18 or older, you may still be exempt from paying council tax. If one of the following applies to you then you will not have to pay council tax;
- children under 18
- people on some apprentice schemes
- 18 and 19-year-olds in full-time education
- full-time university or college students
- young people under 25 who get funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
- student nurses
- foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
- people with a severe mental impairment
- live-in carers who look after someone who isn’t their partner, spouse, or child under 18
It should be noted that even though you may not have to pay council tax, you must still register with your local council. We do this as well as it is just the same, quick process.
Do students have to pay council tax?
If you and your housemates are students, then the good news is that you don’t have to pay council tax.
How council tax bills work
Council tax is usually paid in 10 monthly instalments, with a two-month council tax break in February and March. Some authorities offer 12-month payment plans to help spread the cost, and also paying in one lump-sum can sometimes be made an option.
Council generally prefer to be paid by direct debit, but you can also pay via cash, cheque or debit card.
Council tax registration process
Send us your details on our online form and we can sort out your council tax for you, so you have one less thing to worry about when you move home. Registering for council tax can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, often resulting in waiting absurd amounts of time on hold waiting to get through to someone for the sake of a two minute call. So why not let our experienced team do it for you?
We just need a few bits of information from you including:
- The names of everyone over the age of 18 living in the property
- Whether your property is rented or purchased
- Your move-in and tenancy start dates
- The name of your letting agent, landlord or solicitor
- Whether your property is furnished or unfurnished
- A previous UK address (if applicable)
Once we have this information from you, we will contact your local council and register you with them for council tax. You should get confirmation from them, usually via email, of your registration as well as details for the first payment.
Are you paying too much for council tax?
Did you know that there are an estimated 400,000 households who overpay for their council tax? That’s right, you may be eligible for a rebate. This is because your house may have been placed in an incorrect band when it was registered. So how do you find out whether you are eligible to reduce your council tax payments?
To find out how exactly you go about determining whether your house is in an incorrect council tax bracket, visit our ‘are you paying too much for council tax?’ page. This will tell you not only how to know if you’re not in the correct band, but also how you go about challenging it.
So in summary; you must pay council tax to some degree unless you qualify for exemption, and despite it being a simple process, registering could take hours. Therefore, why not use our free service? You’ll get straight through to one of our expert advisors and we could have you registered with your local council with a two minute call.