Martin Lewis speaks on council tax updates
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Council tax is a system of local taxation which a person’s council will collect to fund services in their area. People usually have to pay council tax if they are 18 or over, and a full bill is based on at least two adults living in a home.
The Government explains there are certain individuals who are eligible for a council tax reduction.
This includes those who are on a low income or in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.
Pension Credit recipients could therefore be eligible for support with council tax bills, for example.
Individuals will be able to apply if they own their own home, rent, are unemployed or working.
What people actually get will vary depending on their personal circumstances.
- Where they live
- Their circumstances such as income, benefits and residency status
- Household income – including savings, pensions and income of any partner
- If children live with a person
- If other adults live with a person.
The local council will use these details to determine if a person is entitled to a council tax reduction.
They will then let the individual know their new bill and how much needs to be paid.
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Citizens Advice explains those awarded a reduction do not normally get an actual payment.
Instead, the council reduces the amount of tax the individual is required to pay.
The charity also encourages Britons to look at which council tax reduction rules apply to their circumstances.
If a person has reached state pension age, and does not receive the following benefits, then “pension age” rules apply:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
For an official council tax reduction, Citizens Advice explains pension age Britons need to have less than £16,000 in savings and property.
This is known as capital, and is strongly taken into account when it comes to eligibility.
Individuals can receive a council tax reduction, however, with more than £16,000 in savings and property if they are in receipt of the guarantee element of Pension Credit.
Applying for a council tax reduction is designed to be a simple process, but individuals must check their eligibility.
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They can do so by visiting the Government’s website and using the dedicated tool.
All they will need to do is enter their postcode to be redirected to the website of their local council.
Here, individuals will find more details on the council’s rules, eligibility criteria and how to submit a claim.
If someone receives a council tax discount by mistake that they are not entitled to, they will need to contact their local council.
If they do not, then they could receive a fine.
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