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Council tax is due to increase in 2022, but you may qualify for free council tax, a reduction or even a clean slate with your balance.
Households are set to see an increase of 6% in council tax which will add hundreds to bills, but many won’t realise they could get up to 100% off their bill. This of course depends on individual circumstances and living arrangements, as each council has control over what help people in different areas can claim.
If you live alone for example, you’re entitled to a 25% discount, which also applies if one adult and one student live in one household. By the same token, you may qualify if in one household there is one adult and one person classed as severely mentally impaired: carers qualify for a 50% reduction, while students get 100% discount.
Pensioners may be also be eligible for a council tax reduction. If you are in receipt the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, you could qualify for 100% discount. Otherwise, you could get help if you have a low income and less than £16,000 in savings. And a pensioner who lives alone will be entitled to a 25% discount, same as a working person.
Low income or benefit receivers could also be eligible for a reduction on council tax, depending on where they live, so check with your local council.
In extreme circumstance you may get a deferral if you’re struggling to pay your bill, or you can speak to your council about setting up a payment plan. You’ll need your NI number, bank statements, a recent payslip or letter from the Jobcentre, and a passport or driving licence for each household member.
You could also get your house re-banded if you may be overpaying your council tax: you neighbour can help with this by identifying what band you’re in or working out how much your property was worth in 1991, as this was when council tax bands were set: but there’s always a risk the band – and bill – could go up!