Martin Lewis issues warning to anyone paying council tax as thousands could be ‘missing out’ on discount
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Martin Lewis has urged “hundreds of thousands of people” across the UK to check if they qualify for a discount on their council tax bill which could equate to “thousands of pounds”. The Money Saving Expert founder shared the advice in a new social media video, revealing people across England, Scotland and Wales could be due a hefty council tax rebate.
In the video, Mr Lewis explained how council tax bills are not calculated by the value of your home, it’s also about who lives there. Some occupants may not have to pay any money at all, depending on their circumstances.
The consumer champion then went on to explain how local authorities across the UK define “qualifying adults” which in turn, determines how much council tax people living in a household will pay. He said: “If there are two or more qualifying adults in the house, you pay the full council tax.
“If there’s only one qualifying adult in the house living with other people who aren’t qualifying adults, then you get the single-person 25 per cent discount. If there are no qualifying adults - which isn’t the same as unoccupied - such as an all-student household, does not pay council tax.
“If you’re aged 17 years old or younger, you’re not a qualifying adult and don’t count towards the numbers for council tax purposes.” Martin explained that students who only attend classes or lectures for a few hours per week should still qualify, as there is an expectation that they will study at home.
He added that some student nurses will also qualify, as well as a few people on apprenticeships. Adults considered to be “severely mentally-impaired” and live-in carers are also eligible for discounts.
If you have been paying council tax as a non-qualifying adult, it could mean that your payments are “lowered substantially” going forward, or you could be due a backdated payout which may be “worth thousands of pounds.”
This chart on Money Saving Expert (MSE.com) should be able to tell you whether or not you should be paying council tax. If you think you are eligible for a reduction, you can apply for it on the Gov.uk website if you’re living in England or Wales and the Mygov.scot website if you’re living in Scotland.