HOUSEHOLDS can challenge their council tax band and potentially save thousands of pounds.
New government statistics show that 29% of people who tried to get a reduction to their band between 2021 to 2022 were successful.
A further 5% of challenges resulted in a property being deleted entirely from the Council Tax list.
Properties across the UK are put into a band from A to H, and this informs how much council tax you pay.
But the bands were created based on property values back in 1991, so many households may find that based on today’s prices, they should be in a different band.
In this instance, you can challenge your council tax band – it could mean you are moved to a lower band and therefore pay less.
You’ll also get a refund of council tax going back to the date you moved into the property.
But a word of warning to anyone considering this – there is also a risk that you could get moved up a band and have to pay more.
Depending on which band you are in, getting a reduction could potentially save you thousands.
For example, Mum-of-one Melanie Garraway managed to save hundreds of pounds on her council tax bill by challenging her band.
And Dee Featherstone saved thousands of pounds after winning an appeal.
A move down to council tax bands A to D would also make you eligible for the £150 council rebate.
Households in council tax bands E to H don’t get the help – although some might still be able access support from the £144million discretionary fund available to families who won’t benefit from the rebates.
Is my house in the wrong council tax band?
It is thought that many properties in the UK have not had their band valued properly.
This is because when the council tax system was introduced back in 1991, the government had to put every property into a band within a limited amount of time.
It wasn’t able to do the valuations completely accurately, due to the scale of the job.
So your property could be in the wrong band – and a change could save you cash.
But remember, if you put in a challenge, there is a risk the council could decide you should be moved to a higher band and you’ll end up paying more.
You could also upset the neighbours if the council makes the decision to change their band as a result.
How to challenge your council tax
The first thing to do is find out what council tax band you are in.
You can do this by checking with your local authority or on the postcode checker.
Use the council tax band checker tool to see which band your neighbours are in.
If they are in a lower band than you are, you could successfully make a challenge and get yours lowered.
Next, collect evidence showing you’re paying more – you could collect the addresses of similar properties to yours in a lower band, for example.
Then contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in England and Wales or the Scottish Assessors Association (SAA) to make a challenge.
Follow instructions on the government’s website on how to do this.
If the VOA agrees that your property is in the wrong band, it will contact you to let you know your band will be changed.
It can take up to two months for the VOA to review your case.
If you aren’t happy with the VOA’s decision, you can appeal your case – but only if you’ve been told that you can when you get the decision.
You need to appeal within three months of your decision – to do this, get in touch with the Valuation Tribunal Service.
If the Valuation Tribunal agrees with you, it will get the VOA to change your band – and your bill will change.
But remember, your band could go up and you’ll have to pay more cash.
This happened with with less than 1% of people who made a challenge between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
Source: The Sun