This blog will answer the question “What council band am I in?” It will discuss council tax banding in England, Scotland and Wales, along with the process of determining your council tax band, challenging your band and reasoning behind it all, and other related details.

What council tax band am I in?

What council tax band you are in is determined by the value of your property. If you live in England or Scotland, your council tax band is determined by the rates of properties as they were in April 1991. If you live in Wales, your council tax band is determined by the value of your property as it was in April 2003, because the Welsh government reassessed its property values then. 

The following sections enumerate the various council tax bands along with the applicable value of the property.

Council tax bands in England

Properties in England are put into one of eight bands (A-H), depending on the price they would have sold for in April 1991.

The valuation band ranges for England are as follows:

  • Band A up to, and including £40,000
  • Band B between £40,001 and £52,000
  • Band C between £52,001 and £68,000
  • Band D between £68,001 and £88,000
  • Band E between £88,001 and £120,000
  • Band F between £120,001 and £160,000
  • Band G between £160,001 and £320,000
  • Band H more than £320,000

Council Tax bands in England have been in effect since 1993. Since the values of these properties are as on 1 April 1991, therefore, any increases or decreases in housing market value do not affect a property’s valuation or its Council Tax band.

Council tax bands in Scotland

Properties in Scotland are allocated into one of the below stated eight bands from A to H, based on their value in April 1991. But the band ranges are different from those in England.

The valuation band ranges for Scotland are as follows:

  • Band A up to and including £27,000
  • Band B from £27,001 to £35,000
  • Band C from £35,001 to £45,000
  • Band D from £45,001 to £58,000
  • Band E from £58,001 to £80,000
  • Band F from £80,001 to £106,000
  • Band G from £106,001 to £212,000
  • Band H more than £212,000

Council tax bands in Wales

Properties in Wales were revalued in 2003. This means that council tax bands have been assigned based on their market value on 1 April 2003.  There are nine valuation bands (A-I).

The valuation band ranges for Wales are as follows:

  • Band A up to £44,000
  • Band B from £44,001 to £65,000
  • Band C from £65,001 to £91,000
  • Band D from £91,001 to £123,000
  • Band E from £123,001 to £162,000
  • Band F from £162,001 to £223,000
  • Band G from £223,001 to £324,000
  • Band H from £324,001 to £424,000
  • Band I more than £424,000

Tax Bands in Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, then you don’t have to put up with the Council tax and tax banding system. Northern Ireland did not switch to council tax in the 1990s like England, Wales and Scotland. It kept its old system of domestic rates. Domestic rates are based on rental values.

In 2007, it changed to a modified system of domestic rates, based on the capital value of individual properties.  Domestic rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable capital value of your property by the domestic regional rate and domestic district rate added together.

Rateable capital value – it is specific to your home.

Domestic regional rate – it is the amount of pence in every pound you pay to the Assembly for regional services.

Domestic district rate – it is the amount of pence in every pound you pay to your District council for local services.

Northern Ireland’s domestic rate levels according to each council area are as follows:

  • Antrim and Newtownabbey : 0.008223
  • Ards and North Down         : 0.008095
  • Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon : 0.009081
  • Belfast : 0.008033
  • Causeway Coast & Glens : 0.008563
  • Derry City & Strabane : 0.009677
  • Fermanagh & Omagh : 0.008292
  • Lisburn & Castlereagh : 0.007732
  • Mid & East Antrim : 0.008988
  • Mid Ulster : 0.007947
  • Newry Mourne and Down : 0.008641

How is council tax band determined

The task of determining your council tax band falls upon the valuation Office Agency.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assesses properties to ensure that they’re in the correct Council Tax band. This assessment is automatic for those properties which have been newly made smaller or those which are newly built.

The VOA also assesses properties when it is asked to do so, such as during a Council Tax appeal or band review.

These assessments are based on the following factors:

  • The property’s size
  • Its layout
  • The character of the property 
  • Location of the property
  • If there is any change in its use
  • Value of the property as on 1 April 1991 (England and Scotland) or 1 April 2003 (Wales)

Finding out your council tax band

To check what council tax band your are in, you can refer to any of the following places or means:

  • On the official website of the government
  • On your council tax bill
  • At your local council’s main offices
  • At your local library.

There might be a small charge sometimes. If a property is put into a different band, you will be informed of it directly by the VOA in writing. The local council will send you a new council tax bill.

The rules are that changes to a property will only affect the banding after a property has been sold so any improvements will affect the council tax of the new owner unless there is a revaluation done.

Challenging your council tax band

If you think that you are in the wrong council tax band, that your property is being assessed wrongly, you have the option to challenge your council tax band.

Why

You need to have valid reasons in order to challenge your council tax band.

The (VOA) deems the following reasons acceptable for making a challenge:

  • Changes have been made to your property since its original valuation, such as part of it has been demolished, or it has been converted into flats etc.
  • A change made to the valuation by the VOA is wrong or it hasn’t been made.
  • The date of a change made by the VOA is wrong.
  • There has been a change to the property or surrounding area that has not been shown in the rateable value.
  • A property should be removed from, or added to, the rating list.
  • The valuation is wrong due to a legal decision on another property.
  • The property details are wrong or incomplete.
  • The valuation was wrong at the time the rating list was created.

While these are the accepted grounds for challenging your council band, multiple challenges can not be made on a single ground, again and again. This is only possible if the challenge has a different effective date. 

How 

There is a process to challenge your council tax band.

If there have been changes to your property, such as being converted into flats, you can request a reevaluation from the VOA or SAA.

If you think there was a mistake in the original valuation of your property, you can request a band review from your local valuation office. You’ll need to explain to them why you think your banding is wrong.

You need to follow these steps before and during challenging your council tax band:

Step 1

Check the council tax band of  your neighbours. If nearby properties are around the same size, age and style as yours, you should be in the same council tax band as them. If you don’t feel comfortable asking your neighbours, or it is not feasible, you can find the information on the VOA and SAA websites.

Step 2

Your council tax band is based on your property’s value in 1991 in England and Scotland, or 2003 in Wales, so your next task is to check the value of our property. You need this information in order to gauge whether or not you should make a challenge for your council band. You have to find this even if your property did not exist at the time.

To find the value, you can check house price websites most of which offer free historic sales prices information. You can calculate the price of your property at the time of inception of council tax by using Nationwide House Price Calculator.

Step 3

If carrying out with the above mentioned steps assure you that your property is in the wrong council tax band, then you can continue with challenging your tax band.

  • If you think the original valuation of your property was wrong, you can directly approach the VOA or SAA and ask for a band review.
  • For this, you need to state your case, explaining the checks you’ve carried out in steps 1 and 2 mentioned above, and your reasoning behind your belief that your property is in the wrong band. 
  • If you think your band has changed since its initial valuation, you can write to your local council and explain to them the reason why you think the band should be changed.
  • The council will either accept or reject your claim. If the claim is rejected, you further have an option to make an appeal to the valuation tribunal.
  • Your council band might change if your property is sold or is the subject of a new lease for more than seven years. In these cases, your council tax band would be reviewed by the VOA or SAA and may increase.

Conclusion

This blog will answer the question “What council band am I in?” It will discuss council tax banding in England, Scotland and Wales, along with the process of determining your council tax band, challenging your band and reasoning behind it all, and other related details.

FAQs

How much is Band A council tax?

The value of your council tax depends upon your local council. Band A is up to £40,000, and your council tax is determined accordingly. To know that you can check the council tax rates of your local council on its website.

What council tax do I pay?

Council tax is a local tax collected by your local authority to pay for the services it provides you with. What council tax you need to pay is determined by the council tax band you are in, and the charges imposed by your local council, and your individual living circumstances.

What is my council tax number?

Your council tax number is the unique number displayed or printed in the top right-hand area of the first page of your council tax bill or summons notice. It is the largest number on the page. Your council tax number can also be found in the council tax part of your My eAccount.

What is the highest council tax band?

Band H is the highest council tax band in England and Scotland, with price more than £320,000 and £212,000 respectively, while Band I is the highest tax band in Wales, with price more than £424,000.

What does Band D mean on housing?

Band D covers all the remaining applicants. It has all those people who would like  to move but already have suitable housing according to the council’s standards.

Citation 

https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands
https://www.newham.gov.uk/council-tax/pay-council-tax
https://www.bedford.gov.uk/council-tax/pay-your-council-tax/council-tax-payable/
https://www.islington.gov.uk/council-tax/where-you-can-find-your-council-tax-account-number
https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200131/council_tax_and_benefits/47/council_tax_bands_and_charges
https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-bands/1
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/council-tax-bands-change/
https://www.bedford.gov.uk/council-tax/pay-your-council-tax/council-tax-payable/
https://www.which.co.uk/money/tax/council-tax/council-tax-calculator-2018-ag9ch3j076bw
https://www.which.co.uk/money/tax/council-tax/council-tax-bands-apxvz5j37h67
https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_tax/about-council-tax/council-tax-bands.aspx
https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200131/council_tax_and_benefits/47/council_tax_bands_and_charges
https://www.saa.gov.uk/
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20005/council_tax/224/council_tax_bands_and_charges
https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-bands-and-charges/

http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/council-tax-benefits-and-money/council-tax/council-tax-bands-and-charges

https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/council-tax/council-tax-bands-charges-appeals
https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.