Council Tax Benefit
We all have to pay taxes, and one of those we all pay is Council Tax, which many of the older readers of this will remember as the “rates”. Council tax is an amount that nearly all households have to pay to their local authority. It covers local services such as bin collections and street lighting. A local tax for local services.
How much tax you pay depends on the size and value of your home, how many live there and the area you live in. Only one bill is sent to each household. Your property is valued and put into one of eight council tax bands, from A to H. Your local authority then sets the council tax that each band must pay.
In most cases, council tax is paid monthly, with many people now paying by direct debit.
Households with low incomes or on certain benefits can claim Council Tax Benefit. This can cover some or all the cost of council tax, depending on how much income comes into the house. Council Tax Benefit is claimed on the amount of council tax left after other reductions and discounts have been taken off. All local authorities run Council Tax Benefit schemes; this is funded by central Government. If you are eligible for the benefit, it isn’t paid into your bank account; you are given a credit against your council tax payment.
There are two types of benefit:
- Main Council Tax Benefit
- Second Adult Rebate
Even if you qualify for both, you can only get one of the benefits, the one that gives the highest credit.