The term “council tax” has been coined by the British government on the behalf of the Local Government of Finance. This tax system is basically for the domestic and unoccupied properties and even the number of people living in it. There are many easy ways to pay the council tax. You should always remember to quote the account number while making payment.
How is the tax bill calculated?
As there are different organizations and their subsidiaries are involved in the process of taxation, the charges are calculated by them. For example
- Cheshire East Council calculates the flood defense and coastal erosion risk management charges.
- Parish council charges for the Adult social welfare
- Cheshire Police and Fire authorities collect the charges accordingly.
Who collects the council tax?
The authorities from the various councils collect the taxes from the residents of the properties. Authorities include local organizations, district councils, principal area councils, and other agencies. Police and fire authorities of each district play a vital role.
When it comes to untenanted property the owner has to pay the council tax. If the property is left unoccupied or unfurnished for more than 2 years then the owner is responsible for paying the tax amount. If you are an owner of the untenanted property and if you are confused about how to avoid paying the council tax on an empty property then thankfully here is the solution for it.
For a better understanding, there are nearly 20,000 homes that are left unoccupied across the UK. Those properties are worth nearly $40 billion in total. At the same time, the landowners were announced either to let or sell the properties.
Issues faced by landowners:
The 100% council tax premium for empty properties is an extensive issue for landlords and property owners. The word “premium” denotes that the local authority and the council can demand a double charge on the council tax for the empty properties. Ultimately, the landlord with the empty property will be paying a double charge of the council tax.
Sublet the property:
As the property owner if you haven’t thought of selling the empty property then it’s better to let it out. With the management companies, this process can be made easier which will also reduce the stress and its time-saving. On the other hand, you will be able to avoid the taxation and will be applicable for getting an extra income.
Knowing the exceptions:
The local authorities will be keen in noticing whether the quoted tax amount is paid correctly or not. First, you should understand the meaning of the empty property i.e., whether the property is completely empty or unoccupied due to substantial furnishing work. If there is some substantial work going on so that someone cannot reside in the property, then you can apply for 100% reduction on council tax.
Tax exemptions for landlords:
The great news for landlords is letting out the empty properties to the tenants and leaving them empty over summer months. Most landlords who have applied for exemptions use a tricky reason where the empty property will be under renovation during the tenancies. There are other exemptions such as
- Class B: the property is left untenanted that is owned by a charity center
- Class D: the previous tenants is imprisoned for non-payment of the council tax
- Class E: the main resident has been moved to hospitals due to certain health issues
- Class F1: the previous occupant has died
- Class F2: While the previous occupant has passed away and if their property has been granted
- Class G: foreign resident whose occupation is prohibited by law
- Class H: future occupant is a minister of any religion
- Class I: Occupant who requires adequate care and has moved to any care homes for mental wellness
- Class J: Occupant who has moved to care a third party
- Class K: Owner is a student and he was the last resident of the property
- Class L: Property has been repossessed by a contract lender.
- Class Q: Property belongs to a bankruptcy trustee
The local authorities take the responsibilities for council tax, the owners can try contacting the authorities in person. You will find some sort of tax discounts for the current empty property. The authorities will instruct you on how to get everything arranged and will also answer a few questions over the phone if required. The owners can also try the other possibilities such as
- Minimize vacant periods: The council tax authority calculates the overall cost down, including your personal council tax fee.
- The budget for council tax:There might be some tax exemptions during the tenancies, which can be ignored with the approval of “Council tax support”.
Exemptions on occupied properties:
The exemptions are meant for certain categories of people. They are:
- Class M: Property is specifically given for a large amount of student’s accommodation
- Class N: the residence is occupied only by students, school or college leavers, and foreign spouses of students
- Class O: Armed force residents
- Class P and W: granny flat residents i.e., for the residents under someone’s care
- Class S: main occupant under the age 18
- Class U: Occupant who is mentally unhealthy and is dependent on someone
- Class V: occupant is a liable diplomat.
Property available on the rental market:
If you have an opinion to let out the property, then there are certain management companies that will help in that. Unfurnished and unoccupied property that is available on the rental market can also be claimed for 100% tax reduction for up to 8 weeks. And also the report from the landlord regarding the change of tenancy and occupancy will be considered for appropriate discounts.
The above-shared information will help in desisting the council tax. Take necessary actions with a legal notice. The Local Government and the Social Care Ombudsman organizations provide free service for the cases or queries filed by individuals regarding council tax.