Thousands of Brits face council tax hikes of £2,000

THOUSANDS of Brits face council tax hikes of up to £2,000 as a cost of living crisis bites.

Councils were given the green light last year to hike the levy up by up to 5% this April.

Thousands of Brits will be paying more for their council tax from AprilCredit: Getty

It means that thousands of households are being slapped with higher bills as many councils hike taxes to pay for spiralling police and social care costs.

Some families will be facing bills of up to £2,100, while the average household will be paying £65 more, research from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy shows.

Families in the North East will be paying the most – the bill for an average band D property in this region is set to rise 3.5% to £2,105.95.

Your council tax band determines how much you pay – bands range from A to H.

While families in Greater London will face the highest rise of 3.7%, paying an average of £1,682.56.

It comes as a recent Sun investigation found Brits owed a whopping £87.2million worth of council tax over 2020/21.

That’s up 35% from £64.5million recorded for the previous financial year, as hard-up families struggled to get by due to the pandemic.

This could only worsen as a cost of living crisis squeezes family budgets even more.

How to lower your bill

There are ways of lowering your council tax bill – we explain how to do this, and whether you’re eligible.

Apply for council tax reduction

Reductions are available for those on low-incomes, people claiming certain benefits, those caring for others, as well as other circumstances.

The amount your bill is reduced by can range from 25% off to 100% – which would mean you pay nothing at all.

For example, carers and those with a disability could get their bill cut by between 25% and 50%.

While students get a full exemption from the bill

The exact amount you can get off can depend on:

  • Where you live
  • Your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
  • Your household income – this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income
  • If your children live with you
  • If other adults live with you

As each council offers different support, you’ll need to contact your local authority for more information and apply through them directly.

Get your council tax band changed

If you challenge your band successfully, you could get a refund worth several thousands of pounds and hundreds knocked off your annual bill going forward.

Experts estimate that up to 400,000 properties are still in the wrong band.

That means many people are probably paying more than they need to.

But if you challenge your band with the council and are unsuccessful, you may end up paying more if they think you should be in a higher paying band.

Your first step to making a challenge is checking what your neighbours are paying and the valuation of similar properties in your area.

MoneySavingExpert has a free calculator tool to help you do this, as well as a table on what band you should have been put in.

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If these indicate you are in the wrong band you can then make a challenge through the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

For more on how to challenge your council tax band you can read our handy guide.

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