Are you paying too much council tax? How to appeal your home's tax band as many authorities announce big increases
Authorities across England have announced yet another annual increase to monthly council tax bills, with rises up to four per cent for some areas.
Councils in Leeds and Sheffield have announced 3.99 per cent increases - the maximum permissible without triggering a local referendum - to take effect from 1 April 2020.
Are you paying too much council tax?
Council tax bands were set in the 1990s and many haven’t been reevaluated since, meaning you could be paying more tax than you should be.
As authorities across England announce yet another annual increase to monthly bills, it’s worth checking if your property is definitely being taxed correctly.
Council tax bands are calculated based on the value of your property at a specific point in time.
In England, this band is based on what your property value would have been on 1 April 1991.
If your property did not exist in 1991, it will be compared to similar types of properties in the area to determine the band.
If your property is newly built, the Valuation Office Agency for England and Wales (VOA) will automatically assess so it can be placed in a council tax band.
The assessments are based on the following criteria of your home:
- Change in use (if applicable)
- Value on a certain date - depending on its location (1 April 1991 in England)
Council tax bands in England
Properties in England are placed into one of eight bands which range from A to H, and depend on the price they would have sold for in April 1991.
The valuation bands for England are as follows:
Band A - Up to £40,000
Band B - More than £40,000
Band C - Up to £52,000 and up to £68,000
Band D - More than £68,000 and up to £88,000
Band E - More than £68,000 and up to £120,000
Band F - More than £120,000 and up to £160,000
Band G - More than £160,000 and up to £320,000
Band H - More than £320,000
How to challenge your council tax band
If changes have been made to your property since the last valuation, such as being converted into flats, you can request for it to be revalued via the VOA.
However, changing your home’s valuation could result in a higher tax bill in the VOA places your property into a higher band.
You can also request a band review from your local valuation office if you think there was a mistake in the original valuation of you home, but you will need to explain why you believe it is wrong.
Improvements to your home won’t increase the amount of council tax you pay, but the band may change if your property is sold, or is the subject of a new lease for more than seven years.
In these instances, the VOA would review your band and it could be increased.
If you think you property has been incorrectly valued, you can dispute it and apply to get it changed by contacting the VOA for England and Wales.