Got a pension question? Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or over the phone on 0800 011 3797

Making the most of your Council Tax ‘holiday’

Published on:

Each year many of us enjoy an annual two-month break from monthly Council Tax payments. But with news that 95% of local authorities in England are planning sizeable increases it might be worth taking the time now to think about how you’ll cover any extra costs after the holiday ends.

How the increase could affect you

The average Band D Council Tax bill in England for 2021/22 is £1,898, increasing on average by £81 or 4.4%.

Over 10 months it’s only an extra £8.10 to find each month, but along with increases to energy, broadband and TV charges, it could make a significant difference to anyone struggling to pay their bills.

And this is just an example on an average Council Tax bill. Though you might not see an increase this high where you live, and some could even see a freeze, it’s also possible you’ll face an even bigger hike.

Councils are also allowed to add an extra 2.99% to fund social care, and all can hold a referendum to ask for larger increases. They can also increase the charges for services such as parking and planning, while many also require payment for green waste collection. So overall, it could be a fair bit more added to your bills.

If you’re worried making the extra payments, you can start preparing for it now by cutting back and making a budget.

Are you on a Council Tax break?

Most people pay their Council Tax over 10 months. This can bring a welcome injection of cash in February and March when no payments are taken.

However, it’s easy for this extra cash to be eaten up by day-to-day spending if you don’t take some actions early.

Instead, you could move the money into a separate savings account, ready for an emergency or your summer holiday. You could use it to clear any debts you have.

arrow icon

Do you have Council Tax arrears?

One of the most common debts you might have is unpaid Council Tax. Failure to pay can resort in a court summons.

If you are struggling to pay, contact your council to see if you can agree a payment plan you can afford.

Are you paying too much Council Tax?

Not everyone needs to pay the full whack. If you live on your own or are the only adult in the house, you can get a 25% discount. If you’re a student living with other students you don’t need to pay it at all. There are also reductions for people with low income or disability, depending on some other eligibility criteria.

It’s also possible to get your Council Tax band re-evaluated and have overpayments refunded, though you could see your bills go up if the review says your home has been under-valued.

Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.