Council Tax 101
What is it?
Council tax is a system of local taxation on domestic property collected by local authorities. There are different bands which cover different price ranges
What does council tax pay for?
Council tax pays for local services such as highway/road maintenance, park maintenance, local police force, fire brigade, libraries, rubbish (garbage) collection, elections, and trading standards.
Do I have to pay council tax?
Yes. This is mandatory and it is illegal to not pay council tax.
There are some exceptions, for example:
if you live in a shared house, then most likely the landlord will pay the council tax for the entire house.
if you are a student and everyone else is your house is a student, you won't have to pay.
if you are working and your partner is a student, you will be eligible for a discount
To register for a discount or see you are eligible: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-council-tax-discount
How do I register?
As soon as you move into a property you MUST contact your local council. If you put off registering, you will end up having to pay arrears and that could get quite expensive. To register, enter your postcode here. Your council's website link should come up. Follow through and more information should be there. If in doubt, e-mail or call your council.
To check your council tax band (how much you have to pay), enter your postcode/potential postcode here: http://cti.voa.gov.uk/cti/inits.asp