PMQs: Boris Johnson responds to council tax criticism
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Council Tax must usually be paid by those 18 or over who own or rent their home. The bill must be met on a regular basis, but the payment can often be a significant burden for some. Aware of this, local councils may be able to offer certain levels of support to struggling Britons.
However, recent analysis has shown millions of individuals are thought to be missing out on the help they need.
Research from the charity Turn2Us has shown 2.77 million people are missing out on £2.6billion worth of help with paying their bills.
This means that on average, eligible Britons are missing out on a total of £938 each.
But schemes will differ from council to council, meaning certain people will be able to receive even more support.
Council Tax Reduction warning as Britons could get up to 100% off bill – are you eligible? (Image: GETTY)
In some circumstances, Britons will be able to reduce their bill by 100 percent.
This can be done if a person is eligible to apply for Council Tax Reduction – sometimes called Council Tax Support.
Eligibility will depend on the rules a council has in place, so it is important to reach out.
A person could be eligible if they are on a low income or claim benefits.
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What a person gets, though, will ultimately depend on various factors, including:
- Where a person lives
- What a person’s circumstances are
- A person’s household income
- If a person has any children living with them
- If a person has any adults living with them
However, it is important to note this kind of support is not currently available in Northern Ireland.
To help Britons with the application process, the Government has developed a Council Tax Reduction tool.
Here, Britons will be able to enter their postcode, and can expect to be redirected to the website of their local council.
Council Tax: The cost of council tax can often rack up (Image: Getty)
They will then be able to see whether they are eligible for support, and how to receive it.
Sara Willcocks, head of external affairs at Turn2Us, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions of us into financially precarious positions.
“We expect to see an increasing number of people needing help with their council tax bills over the next few months.
“It is so important for people to get all the support they are entitled to.
“In addition to Council Tax support, you may also be able to get other forms of financial information and help.”
What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea
A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home.
This means certain individuals will automatically be able to get some money off their bill.
Some 25 percent will be knocked off if a person counts as an adult and either:
- They live alone
- No-one else in the home counts as an adult
Individuals usually get 50 percent discount if no-one living in the home, including themselves, counts as an adult.
Finally, if everyone living in the house is a full-time student, then no Council Tax is payable.