What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is money paid to your local authority in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland the equivalent type of local taxation is called domestic rates, and is a different system to the rest of the UK.

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Council tax was introduced to replace the community charge in 1993 by the local government act 1992. It is a tax only on residential properties, usually paid by the occupier of a house or flat. Council tax is paid to the local government of each country, and contributes to the upkeep of local services such as refuse services, road maintenance and Schools.

The amount of council tax you pay depends on your council tax band which is determined by the market value of your property. Some people can get a reduction in their council tax, for example if you are one person living on their own, and council tax benefit is available to particular people with the amount you can receive depending on your circumstances. An exemption from paying council tax is also possible for some dwelling types, for example a house which is mainly unfurnished and is unoccupied is exempt from council tax for the first six months.