The word “Council tax” has been coined by the British government and was introduced on behalf of the Local Government Finance Act. This taxation system was introduced based on domestic property and domestic rates. It is difficult to avoid the council tax or evade since it is one of the mandatory tax and collection to the government goes nearly up to 97.0%.
Local authorities involved in taxation:
There are certain local authorities called collecting authorities that will collect the council tax, and redistribute and levies the components to other authorities called precepting authority. You can have a clear understanding of the council tax and the reason behind the organizations to collect the tax from the below-given information.
- The general amount payable:
Council tax is stated to be a combination of property tax and personal tax. The taxation is charged based on the below scenarios and the valuation is carried out by the Valuation Office Agency.
- If there are two or more people are residing at the same property then the owner is liable to pay the tax fully without any discounts.
- If there is only one person then 75% is payable.
- in case, of untenanted property, the owner has to pay 50%
- Arrearage on council tax:
As we said earlier that council tax is based on the value of the property we have to concede the fact that higher the value of the property; higher will be the amount levied. So the areas that are growing the attention for the unpaid property will be falling into arrears with their council tax payments. In case, if the court has offered liability order, then it can be reduced.
- Who collects the taxation?
The collecting authorities and the other councils of the districts, principal areas and council areas that are at the lowest tier of the local government except parishes and communities collect the taxation.
The precepting authorities from other local governments and other agencies collect the tax amount while it is redistributed based on joint boards and county councils. This includes the authorities such as
- Strategic authorities
- Special purpose authorities
- Public-owned authorities
- Joint boards
- Lowest-tier authorities
How is the council tax estimated?
Now we have a question in our mind on what basis the council tax is charged for an individual. As we came across the information that the tax amount collected from the council tax is equally redistributed among the authorities of different organizations. At certain circumstances, the total on the tax bill will be higher than the amount offered to the organizations, since the council tax also depends on the society or the area that we reside.
The tax calculation is done by each organization and their subsidiaries to find out how much they need each year to provide the services they deliver. Based on which the elected representatives of each organization partition the amounts based on the Council Tax band.
Who is amenable for council tax?
Subsequently, let’s have a detailed understanding of who has to pay the tax. People who live in the property are liable to pay the tax. And the owner has to pay if it is untenanted property. Else council tax will be charged based on the below category of people.
- The resident with leasehold property
- Owner with freehold property
- Rented residents
- Residents who don’t pay the rent
- Occupant without any formal agreement
- Owner of the property
Who is a tax-exempt?
All the people are counted for council taxation process. But there are certain cases that are treated as unrestrained. They are:
CASE 1: Unoccupied property
In most cases of the untenanted properties, the owner has to pay the council tax. As an owner, if you have made up your mind to become exempt from paying the council tax, then your property must fall under any of the following classes.
- Class B: the furnished property is left unoccupied due to charity concerns
- Class D: Occupant is imprisoned for non-payment of the council tax
- Class E: Occupant has been moved to hospitals due to certain health issues
- Class F1: the previous occupant is no more
- Class F2: While the previous occupant has passed away and if their property has been granted
- Class G: Residence occupation is prohibited by law
- Class H: Future occupant is a minister of any religion
- Class I: Occupant who requires adequate care and has moved to any care homes for mental wellness
- Class J: Occupant who has moved to care a third party
- Class K: Owner was a student and he was the last resident of the property
- Class L: Property has been repossessed by a mortgage lender.
- Class Q: Property belongs to a trustee or bankruptcy
CASE 2: Occupied property
The exemptions are not only for the unoccupied property but also for the certain categories of people. They are:
- Class M: Property is predominantly given for student’s accommodation
- Class N: Dwelling occupied only by students, school or college leavers, foreign spouses of students
- Class O: Armed force residents
- Class P and W: granny flat residents i.e., for the residents under someone’s care
- Class S: occupants under the age 18
- Class U: Occupant who is mentally unhealthy
- Class V: occupant is a liable diplomat.
All the above-mentioned classes will give you an answer for the query that who is exempt from council tax? Other class exempts existed historically but are not into practice. Councils offer 100% discounts based on the exemptions.
If you feel you have been overpaying the council tax for years, then you can raise a query note to the tax council. With the help of above cases and classes, you can decide whether you are exempt from paying council tax. The Local Government and the Social Care Ombudsman organizations provide free service for the cases or queries filed by individuals regarding council tax.