What is Council Tax System?

Council Tax, introduced in April 1993, is a tax levied by local authorities (councils) on domestic dwelling all through the UK. It is based on the estimated value of dwellings and the number of people residing in it and the people has to pay council tax online or by another payment method before the deadline. It replaced the community charge on 1 April 1993 and the charges are calculated based on the Council Tax band assigned to a dwelling. The Council Tax payable bill includes water and waste water charges, and is used to part fund services given by the council. Certain people are exempt from paying Council Tax while others may be eligible for a discount. Council Tax Payment is usually paid in 10 installments starting from April to January. However, under new rules people can apply to pay council tax in 12 installments. In case an individual wishes to do so, he/she must file in a written request by 1 April. If the request is received after 1 April, council tax will be payable for the remaining number of months, upto March (included).

The Council Tax System

For many local authorities (councils), Council Tax is the main source of income. In 2018-19, 31% of the entire revenue expenditure budget was raised from council tax by local authorities. As a result, it is an important source of funding which is used to meeting the difference between the amount a local authority wishes to spend and the amount received from other sources such as government grants.

Council Tax is a property based charge with one bill generated for each household. The amount of Council Tax payable on a property depends in part on the valuation band to which it is allocated. The band is decided by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Council Tax bands and charges 2019/20

There are 8 Council Tax bands, A to H. Every domestic house is assigned a Council Tax band by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). These bands are based on the value of the dwelling as of 1 April 1991. Any dwelling built after this date is given a notional 1991 value for Council Tax purpose.

Council tax bands in England

Properties in England are placed into one of eight bands (A-H), based on the value they would have sold for in April 1991.

For England the valuation band varies as below:

Council tax bands in England
Council tax band Ranges of value
A Up to £40,000
B More than £40,000 and up to £52,000
C More than £52,000 and up to £68,000
D More than £68,000 and up to £88,000
E More than £88,000 and up to £120,000
F More than £120,000 and up to £160,000
G More than £160,000 and up to £320,000
H More than £320,000

Council tax bands in Scotland

For Scotland the properties also placed into one of eight bands (A-H) depending on their value in April 1991. But the varieties of band are different than those in England.

The ranges of valuation band for Scotland are stated below:

Council tax bands in Scotland
Council tax band Ranges of value
A Up to £27,000
B More than £27,000 and up to £35,000
C More than £35,000 and up to £45,000
D More than £45,000 and up to £58,000
E More than £58,000 and up to £80,000
F More than £80,000 and up to £106,000
G More than £106,000 and up to £212,000
H More than £212,000

Council tax bands in Wales

In 2003 the properties were re-valued in Wales, which means council tax bands are based on their market value on 1 April 2003.

Below are the nine valuation bands from A-I:

Council tax bands in Wales
Council tax band Ranges of value
A Up to £44,000
B More than £44,000 and up to £65,000
C More than £65,000 and up to £91,000
D More than £91,000 and up to £123,000
E More than £123,000 and up to £162,000
F More than £162,000 and up to £223,000
G More than £223,000 and up to £324,000
H More than £324,000 and up to £424,000
I More than £424,000

Within an authority, the Council Tax for each valuation band is a fixed ratio to that for Band D.  Residents pay a proportion of the Band D Council Tax depending on their assigned council tax band.

How to Pay Council Tax?

To make the council tax bill payment, residents must be aware of their reference number. Reference number usually starts with an 8, and can be found on a bill or letter from the authorities (council). The details about council bill payment installments can be found on the self service portal of an authority. It is possible to make a one council bill payment online or residents can choose to make Direct Debit payments on specific dates of each month, or in every two or every four weeks. Also, payments of the council bill can be made through BACS by quoting the authority’s bank details (please ensure to quote the Council Tax reference number present on your council bill).

Residents can usually pay the Council Tax online or use ‘payzone’ or ‘paypoint’ or ‘Quickcards’ for cash payments at banks, convenience stores, post offices, and  newsagents. Also, residents can refer to their bill to figure out which other payment methods can be used. In case of overpayment, residents can contact the local council to receive a refund if automatic refund is not received.

Who should Pay the Council Tax?

For an occupied property, Council Tax is usually paid by the people who are living in the house, irrespective of the fact that it is privately owned or rented. On the other hand, if the property is unoccupied, the owner is usually liable to pay the bill, which may be charged at less than the full Council Tax rate. For more information about who is responsible for paying council tax visit the Government website.

In other words, if a person is 18 or above and owns or rents a house, he /she is liable to pay Council Tax. A full Council Tax bill is based on a minimum of 2 adults living in a home; spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill. A 25% discount will be applicable on the bill if a person is considered an adult for Council Tax and either lives on their own or no-one else in the home is counted as an adult.

The following people are not considered as an adult for Council Tax:

  • Children below 18 years
  • People working under trainee schemes
  • 18 and 19-year-olds in full-time education
  • College and university students who are studying for full time
  • Young people below 2 years of age who get subsidy from the skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • Students who are studying nursing
  • Foreign language assistants who have recognition from British Council
  • People with severe mental disorder
  • Live-in carers who take care somebody, who is someone else than their partner, spouse or child under 18
  • Diplomats

How DNS Accountants can help Dwellers with Council Tax Payment?

We are one of the leaders in taxation and accounting in the United Kingdom. Being a trustworthy brand since years, DNS Accountants has helped many clients with Council Tax queries and Council Tax payments. The DNS team encompasses erudite taxation professionals and ACA’s or Chartered Accountants (CAs) and they have exceptional knowledge in the accounting and taxation domain. If residents have missed any of their payments, please get in touch with us at www.dnsassociates.co.uk as soon as possible. Remember, if we do not know that a client is having problems paying, we cannot help them. With primary focus on delivering outstanding customer service, we believe in offering unmatched client service. DNS Accountants offers services at a nominal rate and helps clients with accounting services and tax-planning.

Reliable services are essential to businesses/corporations and this is a predominant reason why most of the organisations in the UK rely on DNS Accountants. The firm provides taxation and accounting services to owner-managed businesses and self-employed individuals. Our team of CAs and ACAs provide services ranging from accounting, self assessment, property tax advising, council tax payments, dividend tax planning, payroll management, tax return preparation and filing, and many more.

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