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Martin Lewis explains extra council tax help on way if you can’t get £150 rebate

Household bills are rising. The news is coming through thick and fast but some help is on the way.

Those households in England in council tax bands A, B, C or D will be given a £150 rebate, the Government has confirmed. However, if you fall outside of those bands there may still be assistance.

Money saving guru Martin Lewis has explained what council tax help is coming for those who aren’t eligible for the £150 rebate

It is estimated that 80% of homes fall into A to D bands, reported the Mirror, meaning not everyone is eligible for the free help when it arrives from April.

For those living in homes in council tax bands E, F, G and H, Martin explained how a £144million discretionary fund is being launched through local authorities.

Money will be given to those who may need additional support – for example, those who are vulnerable and on low incomes.

However, MoneySavingExpert explains that the government has yet to expand on who exactly will be eligible for this funding.

Martin said: “Many homes are exempt from council tax, as are all-student households and student nurses, and some of those households won’t get the £150,”

“So there will be a £144 million discretionary fund distributed via local authorities in England that should cover some of those cases and those who slip through the net, but we don’t have eligibility criteria yet.”

Ways to lower your council tax bill

Councils are preparing to increase taxes as much as 5% from April – so it is worth seeing if you can reduce your bill if you’re struggling.

You may be entitled to a council tax discount ranging from 25% to 100% off your bill depending on your circumstances and where you live.

For example, those who live alone could be entitled to 25% off your council tax bill.

Or someone who has a severe mental impairment and lives alone could qualify for a 100% discount – the same goes if you live in an all-student household.

You may also be able to claim help through a Council Tax Reduction scheme (sometimes called Council Tax Support) if you’re on a low income or on certain benefits.

You could see your council tax bills reduced by as much as 100% depending on your circumstances – but it can be a postcode lottery as the help varies depending on what your local authority can offer.

Whether you are entitled to help through a Council Tax Support scheme largely depends on the following:

  • Where you live

  • Your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residency status)

  • Your household income – this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income

  • If your children live with you

  • If other adults live with you

You can check your council tax band here. Contact your local authority directly to see what kind of discount you could be entitled to.

Are you in the right band? How to challenge your council tax band

If you think you’re in the wrong council tax banding and you’re paying too much, it could be worth challenging it.

As well as being owed a refund on the years you’ve overpaid, you’ll see your bills lowered going forward.

But you need to do your research first, as if it turns out you’re in too low of a council tax band, you’ll end up paying more – and your neighbours could be bumped up too.

First, check is to see what council tax band your neighbours are in.

You can check council bands online for free, so you don’t need to ask your neighbours if you’re not on friendly terms – just make sure you try and compare homes of similar sizes and value.

For homes in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, use the Gov.uk website to do (this link goes for all houses in England).

However, keep in mind that it could just be that your entire street is in the wrong banding.

You’ll also need to work out how much your property was worth in 1991, as this is when council tax was launched by the government, before going ahead with your challenge.

MoneySavingExpert has a free calculator tool to help you do this, as well as a table on what band you should have been put in.

Once you’ve done these checks, if you think you’ve got a good case on your hands you can contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in England and Wales.

Should you be successful, the valuation office will contact you and the band will be changed – and you’ll be due money back.

You can appeal to an independent valuation tribunal if you’re not happy with the decision.

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