June 17 2021
Did you know council tax overlapping when moving house is a thing? This can happen if you forget to inform your local authority of your intention to move, and you end up having to pay two different council tax bills.
Although moving house can be a stressful event, don’t overlook the details; knowing how to cancel your council tax is very important.
After all, you don’t want to end up with more bills than you need; the move itself is enough. Here’s everything you need to know about council taxes and relocating.
- What is a council tax?
- Why is council tax important?
- Who is exempt from council tax?
- What is a council tax overlap?
- When do you start paying council tax after moving?
- How to pay council tax when moving house?
- Can I cancel council tax when moving?
- Keep moving simple with self storage
What is a council tax?
In a nutshell, council tax is the local tax which helps councils pay for the services that they provide.
An assessment is calculated based on a property’s value and then categorised using the UK’s 8-band system.
Due to the difference in council tax rates on each band of property, each local authority keeps a list of the property types in its area and its valuation band. The band system ranges from A to H, with people living in band A properties paying the lowest council tax.
Property bands are evaluated based on the following factors:
- Size of the property
- Structural condition
- Prices as of 1 April 1991 in England are used as a basis for determining market value. In the case of a new building, the value is compared to that of a similar property from 1991.
The table below details each tax band in England along with its value in GBP:
|Council tax band
|Ranges of value
|Up to £40,000
|£40,000 – £52,000
|£52,000 – £68,000
|£68,000 – £88,000
|£88,000 – £120,000
|£120,000 – £160,000
|£160,000 – £320,000
|£320,000 and over
Why is council tax important?
Together with government grants and business rates, council tax is used to pay for vital public services. Among these include buses, street cleaning and bin collection, as well as the large portion that goes towards care services for both adults and children.
Here are some other council-funded services:
- Police and fire departments
- Recreational facilities and park maintenance
- Education and libraries
- Transport and highway services, including road maintenance and street lighting
- Administration and record-keeping, i.e. marriages, deaths and births
- Certain public transport expenses
What happens if we don’t pay it?
If council tax didn’t exist, there’d be no local budgets and probably none of the above. Thankfully, these resources have been at our disposal since the local taxation system began when it was introduced in 1993.
When payments aren’t made, it can lead to flaws in a local authority’s function as it gets short on resources trying to recoup what is outstanding. Ignore it, and it’s likely your council will take you to court, or at the very least, you’ll get fined – council tax arrears are known as a ‘priority debt’.
Who is exempt from council tax?
In a few exceptional cases, some people are not obligated to pay council tax. Before we run through this list, we’d better cover who is – the tax must be paid if you fall into any of the categories below:
- Over 18 years old and living in rented accommodation or your own home
- Cohabiting with a spouse or partner (both are equally responsible for tax payments)
If there are no adults living in the property, council tax is reduced by 50%. Likewise, if you’re living alone or anyone else living in the property is under 18, you’re also eligible for a 25% discount.
Now let’s look at who else gets a reduction and who is exempt:
People with mental impairments
Any resident living with a mentally ill person or someone whose condition affects their intelligence and/or social skills can qualify for a 25% council tax reduction. All that’s required is certification proving the person’s mental condition. You should then be provided confirmation that tax breaks are possible for your circumstances.
If you are a full-time student, you are legally exempt from paying any council tax. This also applies to one or more students living in the same house, no one is obligated to pay, and the number of people is unlimited, provided each has a full-time student status.
Who else is completely exempt?
- Nursing students
- Young men and women (under 25) who are receiving financial support from the Skill Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- International language assistants who are registered with the British Council
- Caregivers who live with an individual who is not their spouse, partner, or family member
What is a council tax overlap?
Usually, a council tax overlap happens when people move house, and the sale and purchase dates coincide.
For example, if you moved in on the 5th but didn’t actually sell your old place until the 15th, you’re still eligible to pay tax on both properties even though you were only living at one. The same rule applies to tenants, so even if they vacate, they are still obligated to pay the council tax until the end of the tenancy agreement.
Keeping your local council informed at least a month beforehand of your intentions and the expected date of moving out of your current home will prevent you from paying two council tax bills because of overlap.
It will also enable them to cancel your council tax bill from that date onward. Upon moving out of the property, the local council will then be able to send you a final bill as per the date you specified.
When do you start paying council tax after moving?
Your council tax payments are due from the very first day you move into your new home. Be sure to notify your local authority right away, don’t leave it with them. If you’re unsure, here’s how to find your local council online.
How to pay council tax when moving house?
In the UK, there are three different ways to pay council tax; let’s look at each in more detail:
1. Paying via instalments over 10 months – the most common and recommended way of paying council tax.
2. Paying council tax upfront – ideal for those who have the funds. There is also usually a reduction available for those who pay their council tax in one go.
3. Paying the tax over 12 months – if required, you can choose to spread your payments over 12 months to reduce the monthly amount. A request, however, must be made in advance for this method of payment. Get more information about UK council tax payments and what to do if you’d like to pay over a 12-month period.
Can I cancel council tax when moving?
Yes, you can cancel your tax if you happen to move to ensure the amount you’re paying is correct. To do this, you’ll need to get in touch with your local council, and in some cases, you may need to call up, send an email, or fill out an online/paper form. You should also submit your cancellation request one month before moving to avoid any delays. Don’t forget to inform your current and future councils too, or you could be left open to fines – not ideal when your to-do list is long enough.
Keep moving simple with self storage
Thank you for reading our post; we hope it has cleared things up. Moving is draining enough without the added worry of council tax. Although complicated factors like this can sometimes make moving a headache, keeping some of your belongings in storage means you won’t have to deal with everything all at once. Whether you need storage in Great Yarmouth or Doncaster, Eastleigh or Leeds, at Ready Steady Store, we have a facility to suit you. If you need any further assistance while you’re in the process of moving, why not talk to our team to see how it works?