Council tax alert: You could get £150 discount quicker – but only by taking action

Martin Lewis speaks on council tax updates

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Council tax is paid by those 18 or over living in a home whether this is rented or owned. A full council tax bill is usually based on at least two adults living in a home, both of whom are responsible for paying the bill.

But as energy bills soar, many have expressed worries about covering regular home-related costs.

As such, the Government has stepped in to provide support through a new council tax rebate.

It will see eligible households in England in council tax bands A-D receive a £150 rebate payment this year.

This will not have to be repaid, meaning Britons do not have to worry about accepting it.

However, the payment method Britons choose for their council tax could affect the speed at which the rebate is available.

Individuals have been told a direct debit will help the £150 get to them as quickly as possible.

Without direct debit arrangements, payments will take longer as councils need to undertake pre-payment checks.

They will also need to reach out to the people concerned to inform them of the rebate scheme.

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Payments will be provided directly from billing authorities to eligible households.

Only one £150 payment will be made per household, regardless of the number of occupants. 

Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, recently urged Britons to take action.

He said: “This year will be tougher than most, particularly for those on lower incomes, so it is good that the Government is stepping in to provide financial support to help ease these pressures.

“Having a direct debit set up will mean councils can automatically pay the £150 energy rebate straight into your bank account. 

“It is quick and easy to set up to pay council tax by direct debit via your council’s website.

“You can still get the money if you don’t have a direct debit set up, but it could take longer as your council will have to contact you and then you’ll have to make a claim.”

Certain individuals may be able to get a discount or exemption on their council tax.

Those who live on their own could get 25 percent off their bill.

Particular individuals are also “disregarded” for the purposes of council tax, including: 

  • Those under 18 years old
  • Those 18 or 19 but in full-time education
  • Full-time students at college or university
  • Student nurses
  • Diplomats
  • Those who are severely mentally impaired
  • Foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • Those on certain apprentice schemes.

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Britons who are disregarded will still need to apply for a council tax discount or exemption.

Some 50 percent off will be applied to a bill if everyone in the household is disregarded.

The council tax bill a person receives will tell them:

  • How much they have to pay for the year
  • How that amount has been worked out
  • The dates a person will have to pay.

The cost of council tax is usually split into 10 monthly payments, but individuals could have their payments spread over 12 months if they are struggling.

To do so, they will need to contact their local council and inform them of the difficulties.

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