A Martin Lewis fan has explained how they cut their council tax bill in half by completing a quick benefit check online.
The MoneySavingExpert reader, known only as Lincoln, wrote in to say he used a free tool that allows you to check your benefits to see if he was entitled to any extra money.
The calculator flagged he wasn’t eligible for benefits but that he was actually paying too much council tax.
Here’s how much Lincoln saved and how you can lower your council tax bill.
How much did the Martin Lewis fan save on his council tax bill?
Lincoln saw his bill reduced from £1,333 a year to £642 - a saving of £691, or around 50%.
This saving came after using the online calculator which revealed he was paying too much council tax.
Lincoln applied to his council for a reduction and saw his bill massively reduced.
Writing in to MSE, Lincoln said: “ I used your calculator to see if I was entitled to pension credit, and it told me I wasn’t.
“However, it said I was paying too much council tax, so I applied and got it reduced from £1,333 a year to £642. WOW."
You can use these to see if you are paying too much council tax or check on your benefits.
How you can lower your council tax bill
Some people could be entitled to a council tax discount but it depends on where you live.
The discount ranges from 25% to 100% off your bill.
There are also lots of different circumstances where you could apply for a discount.
It is best to get in touch with your local authority to see what you could claim.
For example, if you are the only adult living at your address then you could be entitled to 25% off your council tax bill.
Or you could get 50% off your council tax bill if everyone in your home is “disregarded” from paying.
The maximum 100% discount could apply to someone who has a severe mental impairment and lives alone, or if you live in an all-student household.
You may also be able to claim help through a Council Tax Reduction scheme (sometimes called Council Tax Support).
This is for people who are on a low income or certain benefits.
You could see your council tax bills reduced by as much as 100% depending on your circumstances.
Whether you are entitled to help through a Council Tax Support scheme depends on the following:
Where you live
Your circumstances (e.g. income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
Your household income - including savings, pensions and your partner’s income
If your children live with you
If other adults live with you
You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
However, it is important to bear in mind that each council has their own scheme so the help offered isn’t guaranteed.
You may be able to challenge your council tax if you think you are in the wrong band.
It is important to do your own research first though, as your bill could end up increasing if you are found to be in a lower band instead.