Smarten-Up: Don’t Overpay Your Council Tax
Nobody likes paying more than they owe. If you do, you end up feeling cheated, or, at worst - duped. So why do we let our standards slide and consistently pay way more than we should? According to recent data, a whopping 400,000 households in England and Scotland overpay their council tax. Don’t be part of the depressing statistic - follow our tips.
- Check that band. Many houses are in the wrong council tax band, and have been for over twenty years. Ask around your neighbours to see what they’re paying. Make sure you approach this with common sense, of course - your neighbours’ properties need to be similar in size and value to yours. If you find that your neighbours are paying way less than you, then something’s definitely off.
- Valuation is everything. If you can estimate what your house was worth in 1991, you can have an even stronger case for challenging your council tax. You can do this by using the Money Saving Expert’s estimation tool over at this link. Why does this matter? 1991 was the year the new council tax system was launched and the government required every single property be put in a valuation band. The process for this was very rushed and most certainly not accurate, and, worryingly, hasn’t been amended since.
- And now, for the best bit: claim your monies back. If you’re close to certain that you’re in the wrong tax band, head on over to gov.uk, where they help explain how you can challenge your council on the matter. The conventional way to do this is through a Valuation Office where you can make an appeal. It’s worth the faff, as it could save you hundreds of pounds a year.