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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Council Tax: your band

Council Tax helps pay for local services like policing and rubbish collection. Council Tax applies to all domestic properties, including houses, bungalows, flats, maisonettes, mobile homes and houseboats, whether owned or rented.

Working out the Council Tax for your home

To work out the Council Tax for your home, you need to know three things. First, which ‘valuation band’ your property is in. Second, how much your local council charges for that band. Third, whether you are entitled to any discounts or exemptions on the full bill.

Step one: find the valuation band for your home

In England, homes are put into a valuation band based on their value on 1 April 1991, not what the property is worth today. In Wales, homes are put into a valuation band based on their value in 2003.

Follow the link below, then enter your postcode to find your home and its valuation band. For homes in Scotland you will need to contact the Scottish Assessor.

Step two: find out what your council charges per band

Each council sets its own Council Tax rates for each valuation band.

Follow the link below and enter your postcode to get to the relevant page on your local council’s website.

A ‘full’ Council Tax bill is based on two or more adults living in a household

Step three: can you get a discount or exemption?

A ‘full’ Council Tax bill is based on two or more adults living in a household.

What you actually pay will depend on your own circumstances. There are many situations where your Council Tax bill can be reduced, or where you may not have to pay a bill at all. For example, people living on their own get a 25 per cent reduction.

To find out more, follow the links below.

Valuation bands

Council Tax valuation bands Ranges of values in England Ranges of values in Wales
A up to £40,000 up to £44,000
B over £40,000 and up to £52,000 over £44,000 and up to £65,000
C over £52,000 and up to £68,000 over £65,000 and up to £91,000
D over £68,000 and up to £88,000 over £91,000 and up to £123,000
E over £88,000 and up to £120,000 over £123,000 and up to £162,000
F over £120,000 and up to £160,000 over £162,000 and up to £223,000
G over £160,000 and up to £320,000 over £223,000 and up to £324,000
H over £320,000 over £324,000 and up to £424,000
I over £424,000

Please note that the valuation bands differ in Scotland.

Understanding your Council Tax band

Further information is available on the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) website about the banding of different types of home, such as:

  • houses in multiple occupation, for example bedsits
  • properties that contain both a home and a business
  • homes with stables attached
  • homes with an annexe, such as a ‘granny annexe’

You can download ‘Understanding your Council Tax banding’ from the VOA website to find out more about how your Council Tax is calculated.

If you think your Council Tax valuation band is wrong

If you think your Council Tax band is wrong, contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The VOA is responsible for making sure your home is in the right band. It will answer any questions you might have about how your Council Tax band has been worked out. The VOA can review your band if you provide information that suggests that it is incorrect.

In limited circumstances you may be able to make a ‘proposal’ to alter your Council Tax band. If you make a proposal and disagree with the VOA’s decision, you will be able to appeal to an independent Valuation Tribunal. See ‘Council Tax appeals’ to find out more.

How Council Tax levels are set

The level of Council Tax set in your area depends on how much money the council and other public bodies (like the police):

  • spend in your area
  • get from other funding

If the government thinks this amount is too high, they can make the council or public body 'cap' (limit) their spending. Your area will then get lower Council Tax bills.

Who is responsible in your home for paying the bill?

There's one Council Tax bill each year for every home in the UK. This means that people who own or rent a home (including council tenants) usually have to pay Council Tax. Spouses and partners who live together are both responsible for paying the bill.

Only adults pay Council Tax – if you're under 18, you won't have to pay.

If you're still unsure about who is responsible for paying the bill, contact your local council.

When your Council Tax payments are due

You will normally receive your Council Tax bill in March or April. Bills are sent by post, but some councils can send your bill by email if you give them your email address.

Your bill will tell you:

  • how much you have to pay for the year
  • how that amount has been worked out
  • the dates you have to pay

The cost is usually split into ten monthly payments ('instalments').

If the amount of Council Tax you have to pay changes during the year, you will get a new bill.

Ways to pay your Council Tax

You can usually pay your Council Tax bill:

  • by post
  • by direct debit
  • by standing order
  • in person at your council's offices
  • using 'Paypoint', 'Payzone' or 'Quickcards' for cash payments at post offices, banks, newsagents and convenience stores

Some councils also let you pay over the phone or online.

The links below will take you to your local council website where you can find out more.

Direct debit

A direct debit lets your council claim payments from your bank account. You will need to fill in a direct debit form from your council.

Direct debits continue until you tell your bank to stop the payments. When your bill goes up, your council can increase the amount you pay as long as they let you know.

Standing order

A standing order tells your bank to pay set amounts to the council. You have to tell your bank the dates you want to pay and give the Council Tax reference number on your bill. You will need to renew your standing order each year.

Additional links

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