The Money Saving Expert founder warned that millions of Brits could be overpaying on their council tax because of a flaw in the system during his ITV Money Show last night.
The finance pro explained that as many as 40,000 homes are currently in the wrong payment band for council tax and are unaware that they could be paying much less.
During the show Martin revealed that a 63-year-old woman received a £3,500 refund for her council tax after realising her property was under the wrong bracket.
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He also explained that there are plenty of reasons you could be eligible for a discount on the amount of council tax you pay.
“If you have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, have had a stroke or you live alone, you could be due to a discount,” he said.
“There are also council-by-council reductions on Covid-19, pensions credit and you could have your band lowered if you have a disability.
“Hundreds of thousands of people are paying the wrong council tax – and that means they could be owed thousands back,” the money-minded journalist added.
Martin advised viewers to ask their neighbours about their tax band to check if you’re in the right one.
‘By far the most important step is to find out if your band’s higher than neighbours in similar or identical properties. You could simply ask them,’ he wrote on his Money Saving Expert blog.
‘If neighbours in similar properties are in a lower band than you, then you may have a claim (though it may just mean that they’re all in the wrong band).’
It you’re paying more than your neighbours are, you then need to work out what your house was worth in 1991.
You can use online tools to check this, including this one from Nationwide.
“Only apply if both check’s show you are in too high a band,” Martin added, explaining that you could end up increasing your neighbours’ council tax if your claim is wrong.
You can also nab a 25% discount on your council tax if you live alone too.
If you are living alone, you should get a 25% discount on council tax,” Martin said.
It’s all about qualifying adults, so students, carers, children and others can all be disregarded for council tax.
In some cases every person living in a house can be excluded – meaning no tax is due at all.
The chance to score a discount on council tax has been welcome news for many people, as gas prices are rising this year. It’s thought that consumers will be safe from huge price hikes due to the Energy Price Cap but suppliers will have to handle the costs themselves, potentially causing some businesses to go under.
This is also likely to affect energy supplies in the UK.