What you need to know about Council Tax and Moving Home - MCS

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1st September 2021

What you need to know about Council Tax and Moving Home

So what do you need to consider about Council Tax & Moving Home? The tax payments are associated with your current property in your local area. So, if you are planning to move house, you need to cancel your current council tax and start paying the amount for the new property. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Moving Home and Council Tax.

Council tax represents an annual fee that you pay to your local council for the services rendered. Some of these services include libraries and rubbish collection. Depending on where you live, you can pay your council tax in 10 monthly instalments and 2 months of no payments. Your council tax will depend on a few factors, however. They include:

  • The amount the council needs to fund its services
  • Valuation band of your property
  • Personal circumstances

 

Who Pays Council Tax

In the UK most people renting or buying houses must pay council tax. However, there are some exemptions. These are:

  • Anyone moving into armed forces houses
  • Full-time students
  • Anyone under 18
  • Anyone on apprentice schemes

Furthermore, there are exemptions on properties that remain unoccupied due to the owner’s death or undergoing extensive work. As an adult, you also have access to a 25% tax reduction if you live alone or are the only adult on the property. On the other hand, anyone with a second home or an empty property gets to enjoy a 50% council tax discount.

 

Uses of Council Tax

Each local council will have different ways of spending their money or funding. However, your council tax ends up within your local community. This will help your local council to uphold the infrastructure as well as make any essential improvements. On the other hand, council tax enables the council to conduct repairs or maintenance, healthcare, education or provide adult social care. Other uses of council tax include:

  • Record keeping and administration e.g., marriages, elections, deaths and births
  • Environmental trading standards
  • Leisure and recreation projects

Therefore, your council tax ends up being a vital part of your local economy. As a first-time home buyer, you need to research the council tax as well as the bands. This helps you know more about the area that you are planning to move to. When purchasing a house it is also a good idea to be aware of the amount of council tax you are due to pay once you’ve bought the property.

 

Council Tax Bands

Moving from one home to another is no simple ordeal. There are lots of costs that can pile up during the moving process. Therefore, you need to make some arrangements and have effective plans and a budget when moving. This helps you have some peace of mind and ensure that you do know about the council tax band when moving home. Doing this ensures that you can budget for your day-to-day life in your home.

Council tax bands are used to provide a hierarchy to inform each property of the amount of tax they must pay. There are plenty of online resources that allow you to check your council tax band by entering your postcode. However, you are also able to manually calculate your council tax band with the price of your property from 1991.

To access the price of your property in 1991, the Nationwide House Price Calculator allows you to use the current valuation of a property to the price it would have been in 1991. The bands based on this price are below.

  • A: Council band A of up to £40,000
  • B: Council band B that’s between £40,001 to £52,000
  • C: Council band C that’s between £52,001 to 68,000
  • D: Council band D that’s between £68,001 to £88,000
  • E: Council band E that’s between £88,001 to £120,000
  • F: Council band F that’s between £120,001 to £160,000
  • G: Council band G that’s between £160,001 to £320,000
  • H: Council band H that’s more than £320,000

Therefore, when moving to a new property, knowing the council tax band can be of much help. Besides, it helps you understand the tax band that you will end up in. therefore, if your house was sold at £140,000 in 1991 but it’s worth £250,000 now, your council band will still be F. that’s because it was the value of the house when the bands were set.

Furthermore, if you built or bought a new home, you will also be treated depending on the value of the house as of 1991. This ensures that everything remains fair for all homeowners. It also guarantees that a buyer can have some peace of mind when researching their council tax band.

 

How much council tax will I pay?

Although it is fairly simple to find out your council tax band, you won’t be able to find out the exact payments until you are given your tax code for the property.

Furthermore, the cost of council tax will differ between different councils and properties. This makes it difficult to estimate outside of the existing information from your council tax band. To know your exact council tax payments, you will likely need to speak to your local council.

 

How and When to Cancel Council Tax

There are plenty of things to do and consider during the process of moving house. You could forget to cancel council tax between packing and preparing moving arrangements.

This is something you need to remember however, and the process to do so is fairly simple. Usually all you have to do is contact the local council to let them know you are moving. This should cancel your direct debit and stop them from sending bills I your name.

Below is a detailed guide on how you can cancel your council tax.

 

Cancelling Council Tax

To understand the process of cancelling your council tax, you can begin by looking at your local authority’s website. Here, you can enter your address as well as your moving address and everyone who needs to pay council tax on the property. Upon doing all this, you can receive a final bill and this can take up to one month before your move date.

More so, besides cancelling your council tax, you can as well apply for a tax refund. This is only applicable if you are in credit on your existing tax account. If you plan on cancelling your council tax, you need to plan to ensure that your moving won’t overlap. That’s because a council tax overlap might leave you paying council tax on a property that you no longer reside in.

 

How to Start Paying Council Tax

Council tax should be paid for the new address after moving. The first thing you should do is check you are currently eligible for paying council tax. You must pay council tax as long as you are an adult who is not in full-time education.

To begin paying council tax, you’ll need to register at your local council with you new address. They should then promptly send you your first council tax bill.

On your new bill, you should find instructions on how and when to pay your council tax. Most councils allow you to set up payment and create an account online so you can simply check the amount and the payment date there instead of with monthly postal bills.

 

How Council Tax is Calculated

Even though your local council will determine your council tax, they have a way of assessing the tax amount to ensure that it’s fair for everyone. Your local council doesn’t only rely on your council tax for survival, they also obtain funding from the government. The amount you get to pay will, therefore, depend on the funding the local council obtains from the government.

When determining your council tax amount, your local council will assess things like:

  • Location
  • Character
  • Use
  • Layout
  • Size

When checking the amount of council tax to pay, you should pay attention to whether your property had been extended. You can be aware if your property will fall in a higher council tax band. you should also be aware of the nearby properties to know whether they had been rebranded. With this information, you will be capable of knowing the band.

 

During the moving process, the most important thing to remember is to cancel the current council tax address. This prevents you from paying additional tax whilst you are no longer living in the property. You may also be eligible for a tax refund if your account is in credit. This can be a sweet bonus, especially considering the expenses associated with moving house. After you have moved, you should then enquire about paying tax for your new property. It doesn’t have to be arranged before moving.

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