Council tax: Check now to see if you’re eligible for reductions as bills rise this year

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Council tax bills could rise by £400 over the next five years, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) detailing that the total amount raised in council tax to be a third higher in 2026/27 than it was in 2019/20. The organisation said receipts will be £12.1billion higher in 2026/27 than seven years earlier, equivalent to £435 per household.

While steps have been taken to limit these increases, Britons are still set to face mounting costs in the months ahead.

This year, councils will be able to increase bills by a maximum three percent without having to hold a local referendum, with one percent of this increase going to social care.

However, The Treasury’s Red Book, published alongside the Budget, detailed where any council that did not impose their three percent allowance last year, can roll it over to 2022.

This means residents in 33 towns could see their bills rise by up to six percent this year.

The Red Book stated: “To ensure that all local authorities have access to the resources they need to deliver core services such as children’s social care, road maintenance and waste management, the referendum threshold for increases in council tax is expected to remain at two percent.

“In addition, local authorities with social care responsibilities are expected to be able to increase the adult social care precept by up to one percent per year.”

While many Britons may struggle with raised tax costs, those who are on limited incomes may be able to reduce their bill.

Council tax reductions can be granted to people under a range of circumstances which includes those who are in receipt of benefits, tax credits, pensions or are carers.

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To check on this, people will need to contact their local council directly as each authority will have differing rules.

To help with this, the Government has a free-to-use tool on its website which provides users with the contact details of their local authority when they enter their postcode.

Where claimants are eligible for support, they can have their bill reduced by up to 100 percent.

This support can be claimed by those who own their home, rent, are unemployed or working.

The amount of support a person gets will depend on their circumstances.

Specifically, a household’s income levels and family dynamics will have an impact.

Aside from reductions, other support may be available to those who are struggling.

According to Money Helper, many councils offer deferrals for those struggling with their bills.

However, Britons will need to ask for this.

If they can’t get a deferral, most councils will then offer an affordable payment plan.

Additionally, because of coronavirus, in 2021 the Government funded an extra £150 discount for people who qualify for council tax reductions.

This will automatically apply to new claims, while existing claimants should have already received a new council tax bill to reflect the change.

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