MHCLG releases council tax guide

28 May 19

The government has produced a first-of-its-kind practical guide to help prevent households from overpaying council tax.

The 30-page online leaflet outlines all council tax exemptions and discounts, and explains how council tax operates in England. Separate arrangements apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government document spells out when people can apply for full exemptions, such as when an entire household is made up of full-time students and when a person has moved into hospital or a care home.

It also explains discounts including for those in hardship, single-person households and ‘granny’ annexes.

Local government minister Rishi Sunak said: “No-one should be paying more than their fair share. We want to help people keep more of what they earn which is why we’ve produced this easily-accessible guide explaining the discounts and exemptions available – many of which people may never even knew existed.”

The guide, released over the weekend, has been announced following calls for the government to relieve pressure on vulnerable taxpayers. A Guardian investigation published in April found council tax debts in England have soared by nearly 40% in six years.

Earlier in the year, the Mirror reported stastics from the Turn2Us charity saying fewer pensioners were claiming council tax assistance they were entitled to due to the shift towards digitised council services.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies released a report yesterday that suggested council tax was the only regressive tax in the UK.

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