Council tax discount: Online tool lets you check if you can reduce your bill

They are doing this to balance their budgets following increased spending during the coronavirus pandemic. So far, eight metropolitan districts have confirmed that they’ll be raising council tax this year. Only three-quarters of them are proposing a maximum rise.

However, there is an online tool made available by the Government which enables people to look into if they can get a discount.

The Government website hosts the tool, which allows anyone to enter their postcode and find out about local discounts.

This service only works in England and Wales.

Upon entering a postcode, the online tool directs people to a web page that lists their local authority reference number and council tax band.

There are also details available on whether the home is a mixed-use property.

On the same web page, there is an option to raise a claim if a person believes that they’ve been grouped in the incorrect council tax band.

It is also possible to contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) by telephone in order to raise this concern.

People can only raise this formally if they’ve lived in the property for six months or less.


If successful, the council tax band will be lowered and people can then apply for a backdated rebate from when they moved into the property.

The VOA determines a property’s council tax band by assessing its size, layout, character or location.

For example, a property that has increased in size may move to a higher band when it’s next purchased.

People can also determine their council tax band by checking what their neighbour’s band is.

Another possible method is for people to estimate what their home was worth in 1991.

This is the date that the council tax bands were defined.

It was Chancellor Rishi Sunak who made the announcement that local authorities could increase rates without having to hold a referendum.

The additional increase to council tax bills is ringfenced for adult social care.

Council tax is an annual fee that people pay to their local council in order to help pay for services such as schools, social care, community centres, street lighting, youth centres and libraries.

It even pays towards police, fire services, public transport and the collection of domestic waste. However, it is not used to pay for health services.

How much a person has to pay depends on what their personal circumstances are and which valuation band the property is in.

Council tax valuations are only based on the value of properties that aren’t used for business purposes.

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