Martin Lewis reveals how households can get £1,000 back on their council tax

  • Being in the incorrect council band could be costing you thousands of pounds
  • Martin Lewis shared how challenging bands could leave you entitled to a refund 

Martin Lewis has revealed how households can get £1,000 back on their council tax bills. 

The money saving expert founder cautioned viewers as he issued step-by-step advice on when to challenge a council tax band, which could save people thousands of pounds.

As council taxes are set to rise in most parts of England in April by the limit of 5 per cent, he encouraged people to check whether they are in the wrong band. 

In the past, local authorities were only allowed to raise their council tax by 2.99 per cent before the matter would have required a local vote.

However, some authorities have been found to increase their bills more than this – in some cases, by as much as 15 per cent, The Sun reported. 

The money saving expert founder, Martin Lewis, cautioned viewers that they could be entitled to thousands as he issued step-by-step advice on when to challenge a council tax band

Council tax bands are based on the value of properties that would have sold for on the open market on 1 April 1991 in England and 1 April 2003 in Wales.

Therefore, the more expensive a property’s value is, the more the homeowner will be charged for their council tax.

The host of The Martin Lewis Money Show said that if a person’s council tax band is incorrect, then not only will they be paying less moving forward, but they can claim a refund on any overpayments made since first moving into the property.

How can people challenge their council tax band?  

Addressing the topic on his BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Lewis shared his advice, explaining how council tax bands were created based on property values back in 1991, so numerous households could be on a different band today.

However, he also warned that residents could end up inadvertently landing themselves and their neighbours on a higher-paying band.

Beginning his advice, he said: ‘So, step number one. You need to compare the band you’re in with nearby similar or preferably identical homes’.

Those living in England and Wales can research and submit their challenge to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) through the government’s website. 

The host of The Martin Lewis Money Show said that if a person’s council tax band is incorrect they can claim a refund

Or people can call the VOA on 03000 501 501 for England or 03000 505 505 for Wales or email [email protected]

The process includes giving addresses of up to five similar properties in a lower council tax band in your immediate area and detailing what type of property you live in, its size, age and style and design.

He added: ‘If you find that properties that are very similar to yours – and remember, they might have done an extension – are in a lower band, then you have the first tick in the box

‘But I would do absolutely nothing unless you get the second tick in the two-step check. The second tick comes from what I call the “valuation check”. 

‘Now I should note that this cannot be used as evidence when you go and challenge your band but this is so you can be pretty sure you have a good case.’

If people find that they are in too high of a band, then they should get in touch with their local council office. 

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