May 18, 2022, 0:15

    Mum reveals 6 ways to slash your council tax bill – and who can get 100% off

    Mum reveals 6 ways to slash your council tax bill – and who can get 100% off

    April is the first month of the new council tax year – and if you're struggling, there are ways of lowering your bill.

    You can choose to pay in ten or twelve-monthly instalments but I prefer the ten-month method as it feels like I am saving money in those more challenging post-Christmas cost months with no payment.

    Council tax is an essential bill paid by everyone to your local council paying for local services including refuse collection, police and fire services.

    Most of us will have seen an increase to this essential bill. mine has gone up by 7% – the biggest percentage increase I have ever seen.

    In addition, a note on the importance of council tax as a priority bill. Non payment can quickly escalate into bailiffs at your door, fines and even imprisonment.

    Lynn Beattie runs the Mrs Mummypenny finance blog
    (

    Image:
    Tim Merry)

    This means if you are struggling to pay your bills this must be prioritised. Here are some ways to cut your council tax bill.

    £150 council tax rebate

    Hopefully by now you have received your £150 credit to your bank account.

    A payment from the government to help towards the rising energy prices. Personally, this pays for just two months’ worth of my direct debit increase.

    Are you worried about paying your council tax bill? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

    Later this year In October the government has offered another £200, but this payment will be loan that you need to repay via your energy bill over five years. We are yet to find out what else the government might do to help with the cost of living crisis.

    This £150 credit is only for people living in council tax bands A to D and will be credited automatically if you pay by direct debit. The credit is expected to hit your bank account by the end of April.

    If you do not pay by direct debit go your local council’s website and complete a form. Don’t miss out on this £150.

    Cost of Living

    Our Cost of Living team of experts are here to help YOU through a very difficult year.

    They'll be bringing you the latest money news stories and also providing specialist advice.

    Whether it's rocketing energy bills, the cost of the weekly shop or increased taxes, our team will be with you all the way.

    Every Thursday at 1pm they will take part in a Facebook Live event to answer your questions and offer their advice. Visit facebook.com/dailymirror/live to watch. You can read more about our team of experts here.

    If you have a question – or want to share your story – please get in touch by emailing webnews@mirror.co.uk.

    Single person discount – 25% off

    You can get a 25% discount on your council tax if you are a single adult living alone. This applies to me, and I ensured that I claimed the discount as soon as I became a single home dweller.

    This also applies if you live with other non-council tax paying adults such as those over 18 in full time education, some adults on apprentice schemes and some carer roles.

    This discount is frustrating for single people or parents like me, who still must pay 75% of a bill, rather than the 50% it would be in a couple, a single person tax.

    Mrs Mummypenny talks you through how to lower your bills
    (

    Image:
    Tim Merry)

    Benefits and low income discount – up to 100% off

    Based on your living circumstances, income, and benefits that you are on you could be eligible for council tax support from your local council.

    Every local authority has different rules, and it's potentially a postcode lottery but it’s absolutely worth checking what discounts might be available given your situation.

    Go to your local council website and search for Council Tax Support and check the criteria. Read more about this discount here.

    Check credits on old council tax bills

    If you have recently moved house check your previous address council tax accounts, you might have some credits sat there that you didn’t know about.

    A friend recently discovered a credit on two old addresses that she had forgotten about. An unexpected bonus.

    Check your council tax band

    Your council tax banding is based on your house valuation from 1991 – a very long time ago. Check the other similar houses in your road to see that you are all in the same banding.

    If not then you can make a claim and challenge to change your council tax banding via your local council. Just head to your local council website for an application form.

    You can also apply for a council tax reduction if anything has changed to reduce the value of your house.

    Including things like alterations to house for disability needs or maybe a motorway has been bult near by or a mobile phone mast.

    Section 13A council tax write offs

    This is a little-known way of potentially having your council tax debt written off if in extreme financial difficulties.

    This normally applied in rare circumstances of an uninhabitable property, but also in time of financial difficulty. It is by no means a certainty so do look at other reduction methods first.

    You will need to make an application via your local council and supply supporting evidence including an income and expenditure statement, pay slips and bank statements to prove that the debt cannot be repaid.

    If you are struggling with debts and/or priority bills do reach out to free debt charities, including Citizens Advice, Step Change and National Debtline.

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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