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Guide to UK Council Tax

Council tax is the system of local taxation collected by local authorities that replaced the community charge (poll tax) on 1 April 1993. It is a tax on domestic property. Generally, the bigger the property is, the more tax will be charged. Some property will be exempt from council tax.

Valuation bands

Each local authority keeps a list of all the domestic property in its area. This is called the valuation list. Each property is valued at April 1991 prices and put into a valuation band. A different amount of council tax is then charged on each band. The valuation bands are:-

In England:


Valuation band

Range of values

A

Up to £40,000

B

Over £40,000 and up to £52,000

C

Over £52,000 and up to £68,000

D

Over £68,000 and up to £88,000

E

Over £88,000 and up to £120,000

F

Over £129,000 and up to £160,000

G

Over £160,000 and up to £320,000

H

Over £320,000


In Wales:

Valuation band

Range of values

A

Up to £30,000

B

Over £30,000 and up to £39,000

C

Over £39,000 and up to £51,000

D

Over £51,000 and up to £66,000

E

Over £66,000 and up to £90,000

F

Over £90,000 and up to £120,000

G

Over £120,000 and up to £240,000

H

Over £240,000


In Scotland:

Valuation band

Range of values

A

Up to £27,000

B

Over £27,000 and up to £35,000

C

Over £35,000 and up to £45,000

D

Over £45,000 and up to £58,000

E

Over £58,000 and up to £80,000

F

Over £80,000 and up to £106,000

G

Over £106,000 and up to £212,000

H

Over £212,000

 

To find out what band a your house is in you can look at the council tax banding lists published on the internet by the Valuation Office Agency at www.voa.gov.uk

Revaluation

Since 1991 prices have rocketed and the government is presently revaluing all properties in the country. This is about updating the values last taken 14 years ago and will not result in a pro-rata increase in council tax. It will merely provide a new measure of what your house is worth compared to other houses in your area which may or may not result in a new banding for your property.

Properties will be allocated to bands by the Valuation Office in the summer of 2006, and it is unlikely the information will be used until late 2006 to early 2007. Certainly you will not be able to appeal your new banding until April 2007.

Who is liable to pay the council tax?

Usually one person, called the liable person, is liable to pay council tax. Nobody under the age of 18 can be a liable person. A man and woman living together will both be liable, even if there is only one name on the bill.

Usually, the person living in a property will be the liable person, but sometimes it will be the owner of the property who will be liable to pay.

The owner will be liable if:-

  • the property is in multiple occupation, for example, a house lived in by a number of people who all pay rent, but no-one is responsible for paying the whole of the rent; or
  • the people who live in the property are all under the age of 18; or
  • the people who live in the property are all asylum seekers who are not entitled to claim benefits including council tax benefit; or
  • the people who are staying in the property have their main homes somewhere else; or
  • the property is a care home.

If you think that the owner of the property should be paying the council tax, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau.


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