More than £230 million is currently unclaimed in 1.7 million closed or dormant council tax accounts across England, Scotland and Wales – here’s how to check if it affects you are not
Money-saving expert Martin Lewis says everyone who’s moved since 1993 could be owed money in the form of overpayments. tax council.
An investigation by MoneySavingExpert.com has revealed more than £230 million unclaimed in 1.7 million closed or dormant council tax accounts across England, Scotland and Wales.
Martin Lewis The consumer site’s founder, said: “Councils are sitting on a staggering £230 million, at least £230 million spread across 1.7 million accounts, working out to around 100+ on average. pounds in each closed account.
“And while councils work hard to track down debtors, many are not doing well enough, especially when people have moved out of their area and are no longer their responsibility.
“That means we all need to hold ourselves accountable.”
The owners of these 1.7 million council tax accounts should have been reimbursed when the accounts were closed.
The credit in them accrues when households pay their council tax a month or a year in advance, meaning people often have credit left over when they move house.
The credit is also added if a person overpays their council tax bill, if a resident moves out, or if someone living on the property dies.
Who can be in debt?
MoneySavingExpert.com researchers believe you’re more likely to get a refund if you’ve moved out of the local government area in the last 29 years and haven’t paid your council tax by direct debit.
The report advises anyone moving since 1993 to check if they are due over £100 due to overpayments and credit.
The simplest and fastest way to check and claim is to fill out the online claim form from your old board.
Search online for the council name and the words ‘council refund form’, which will lead you to the correct document if it is available to that board.
Another way to check is to email, live chat or call the council – details can be found on the Gov.uk website.
Are you in the right band?
MoneySavingExpert estimates around 400,000 homes in England and Scotland could also be overpaid as they fall within the council’s tax margin.
Challenging your council tax requires a bit of research up front and there are some risks involved – for example, you could end up finding yourself way too low and could end up paying more .
Before considering challenging a council tax, you need to do your research first.
If it turns out you’re on the very low end of your council tax rate, you’ll start to pay a higher amount if your challenge doesn’t go as planned.
Your neighbors will also be affected, if it shows your entire street has been underpaid.
The first step to checking if you’re likely to succeed is to see what council tax your neighbors are charging.
You can check out your council band online for free, so you don’t have to ask your neighbors – just make sure you try and compare homes of similar size and value.
This is just a rough guide, so be warned again that it’s possible your entire street is on the wrong strip.
Before taking on the challenge, you should also calculate how much your assets were worth in 1991, as this is when the government introduced the council tax.
MoneySavingExpert There’s a free calculator tool to help you do this, as well as a table of which bands you should be included.
Once you’ve done these checks, if you think you’ve got a good case in hand, you can contact Agency Valuation Office (VOA) in England and Wales.
For homes in Scotland you will need to contact Scottish Association of Appraisers (SAA) to submit your challenge.
If you’re successful, the valuation office will contact you and the band will be changed – and you’ll get a refund.
You can appeal to an independent appraiser if you are not satisfied with the decision.
How to reduce your council tax bill
Type council tax reduction or discount You may be entitled depending on your circumstances.
The help provided also varies between local governments, so it’s best to contact your council to see what you can ask for.
For example, if you claim benefits – such as General Credit or Pension Credit – y you can get up to 100% discount on your council tax bill.
Other situations where you could be ripped off include if you live alone or with someone who doesn’t qualify for council tax.
Usually, you will get a 25% discount in these cases.
And a maximum discount of 100% may apply to someone with severe mental impairment and living alone, or if you live in an all-student household.
See more tips about how to reduce your council tax bill this.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/martin-lewis-warns-anyone-who-26290960 Martin Lewis warns anyone moving house since 1993 could be in debt