Martin Lewis’s latest advice on council tax that everyone should know

The Martin Lewis Money Show Live was back on TV screens on Thursday evening (January 15).

The financial guru explained to viewers how there are around 400,000 homes on the wrong Council Tax band across the UK.

He also urged people to check whether they’re eligible for a reduction on their council tax bill and explained how easy it is to challenge your current and previous bills if needed.

Martin, who founded the Money Saving Expert website, said there are two steps to check and you must tick both boxes before reaching out for a price cut.

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The first option is to check whether your council tax band matches your neighbours’.

He said: “That is where you have to compare your house to neighbors, in similar, or preferably identical properties, to see if you’re in a higher band.”

If your band is higher than other people in your street, you could be paying out for the wrong band.

You can check this by visiting voa.gov.uk in England or saa.gov.uk in Scotland.

Viewers were also advised to complete the valuation check to see what your property was worth in 1991 which will tell you if you’ve been banded incorrectly.

He said: “That sounds complex as you’ve got to work out what your house was worth in 1991 because that’s what decides the bands.

“To do it, you’ve got to take a valuation of your house, or a similar house and then convert it back through a house calculator, but don’t worry – there are free tools online that will do this for you.”

Council tax banding’s were set years ago
(Image: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

But Martin warned people should only apply if both checks show you are in too high a band.

If you think you are paying too much, MomeySavingExpert.com has created a Council Tax check and challenge system here.

If you are in too high a band, you can reclaim past overpayments and get reductions in the future from your local council.

Martin reminded viewers that single adults can get a 25 per cent discount on their council tax.

There are also other criteria where adults are also disregarded as council tax occupants.

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These include: Full time students (min 1 year course, 21 hours a week), live-in carers (35hr a week, not spouse, partner or parent of under 18) and severe mental impairment (common with dementia and strokes)

People on low incomes may also be able to get a reduction on their council tax, Martin explained: “There’s also reductions council by council” for people with disabilities or those who are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

This does vary among councils but it’s worth checking with your local authority to see if you could be eligible for support.

My London – Local News