An online tool revealed that MoneySavingExpert reader paid too much council tax and saw his bill reduced by almost 50%.
MoneySavingExpert reader, known only as Lincoln, wrote that he used a free tool that allows you to review your benefits to see if he’s eligible for extra money.
The calculator indicated that he was not entitled to any benefits, but that he was in fact overpaying council tax.
Here’s how much Lincoln saved and how you can reduce your council tax bill.
How much did the Martin Lewis fan save on his council tax bill?
Lincoln saw his bill reduced from £1,333 a year to £642 – a saving of £691, or around 50%.
That saving came after using the online calculator, which revealed he was paying too much council tax.
Lincoln applied to his council for a reduction and saw his bill cut massively.
In a letter to MSE, Lincoln said: “I used your calculator to see if I was eligible for any pension credit and it told me I wasn’t eligible.
“However, it said I was paying too much council tax, so I applied and got a reduction from £1,333 a year to £642. IMPRESSIVE.”
You can use this to determine whether you are paying too much council tax or to check your benefits.
How to reduce your council tax burden
Some people might be entitled to a council tax rebate, but this depends on where you live.
The discount ranges from 25% to 100% on your bill.
There are also many different circumstances in which you can apply for a discount.
It is best to contact your local authority to see what you can charge.
For example, if you are the only adult living at your address, you could be entitled to a 25% rebate on your council tax bill.
Or you could get a 50% discount on your tax bill if everyone in your home is “discounted” from the payment.
The maximum 100% discount may apply to someone who has a severe intellectual disability and lives alone, or if you live in a student-only household.
You may also be able to get help through a Council Tax Reduction program (sometimes called Council Tax Support).
This applies to people with low income or certain benefits.
Depending on your circumstances, you can see your council tax bills reduced by up to 100%.
Your eligibility for help through a Council Tax Support program depends on:
- Where do you live
- Your living conditions (e.g. income, number of children, benefits, residence status)
- Your household income – including savings, pensions and your partner’s income
- If your children live with you
- When other adults live with you
You can apply if you own your own home, rent, are unemployed or work.
However, it is important to remember that each community has its own program, so the help offered cannot be guaranteed.
You may be able to contest your council tax if you think you’re in the wrong band.
However, it’s important to do your own research first, as your bill could end up going up if you’re in a lower band instead.