Martin Lewis urges ITV’s This Morning viewers to check their council tax code as they could be entitled to a refund
The money saving expert shared advice for how to check if you are overpaying council tax and due a refund.
Martin Lewis has revealed how to check if you’re entitled to receive a council tax refund as there are up to 400,000 people in the wrong band.
The money saving expert, 50, joined Holly Willoughby and Alison Hammond on the ‘Ask Martin Lewis’ segment of ITV’s This Morning on Tuesday.
Ahead of the council tax rise across parts of England in April by as much as 5 per cent, the finance guru warned there could be hundreds of thousands of people overpaying.
With many households struggling due to the cost of living crisis, his tips on saving money have proven popular with viewers.
Alison shared a message from viewer Bob, who wanted to thank Martin for his previous advice to check council tax bands as they are now set to receive a refund of “just under £4,000 for overpayment for the last 30 years.”
Martin said: “There are up to 400,00 people in England and Scotland in the wrong band. The value of our council tax band was done in 1991 by what they call second gear valuation in many cases, which means literally two people in a car - one with a check list of the number of bedrooms. They drove past going ‘hmm band b, band c’ and that was how it was done.
“That was meant to be a stop gap until they did it properly but they’ve never done it properly and that was 1991, it’s now 2023.”
Martin advised viewers to compare their home to neighbouring properties to check if they are in a higher band.
He made it clear that you don’t have to ask your neighbours which council tax band they are in, as the information is available on Gov.uk and the Scottish Assessors Authority (SAA) website.
If that check shows you’re in too high a band, Martin advised viewers to move to the next step, the ‘valuation check’.
Martin explained that the ‘valuation check’ is when you need to work out what your house price was in 1991.
He stated:“If you’ve bought it relatively recently, you’ve got a valuation recently. If you have been in the house a long time, then try and find a neighbour’s property that’s similar to yours, and find out what it was bought or sold for some time ago in the last 10 or 15 years, and then you can back-calculate using house price calculators what it was worth in 1991.”
The Money Saving Expert founder then went on to stress how the next part of the checking process is the most important bit.
He firmly stated:“Only apply if both checks show you are in too high a band, if you only do the neighbours check and it shows you’re in too high a band it might actually mean your neighbour’s band is too low.”
He added: “You apply and their band goes up and that will not make you very unpopular.”
Martin Lewis, who was awarded a CBE, has been helping people to save money throughout the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.
He was recently announced as the new regular co-host on Good Morning Britain.
Current presenter, Suzanna Reid, 52, was overjoyed saying: “Martin Lewis is undoubtedly the voice of the nation when it comes to the cost of living crisis. Together we will continue to challenge politicians and hold them to account.”
Money-savers took to social media when the finance guru was signed up as a regular co-host on Good Morning Britain:
One said: “You do a great job for us mere mortals. Keep on doing it 👏👏 x”
Another added: “ Brilliant news Martin, you are the one person we all trust and I find myself answering some questions with, Well Martin Lewis says ---- and quoting what you’ve said. Keep up the great work you do 👏👏❤️❤️❤️”