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Council tax was introduced in April 1993 to replace the Community Charge (Poll Tax), and it’s the way you pay for the cost of having public services provided to you. Many of the services you use every day and may not give a second thought to are paid for in part by council tax contributions.

For example, some of the services your local authority provide for you and your family using your council tax contributions includes:

  • Fire, police and court services
  • Household water and waste (sewerage)
  • Rubbish collection and disposal, including recycling and household waste disposal facilities
  • Street lighting
  • Registrations of births, marriages and deaths
  • Administration of licences and permits
  • Administration of benefits
  • Libraries
  • School and nursery facilities
  • Housing, including council homes, and advice and support for older citizens
  • Health and social care to the vulnerable
  • Road and bridge maintenance
  • Maintenance of parks and open spaces
  • Funeral services
  • Education and training support and grants
  • Museums and community events
  • Leisure facilities, such as swimming pools, recreation centres and athletics facilities
  • Subsidising public transport
  • Environmental health and safety

Know your rights and your council tax liability based on your situation

Many people are unsure about the rules and exemptions of paying council tax for their residence, whether they have to pay and what their money is going towards once they do. This is why our council tax overview has been created to help, with all of the information you will need and a handy overview of council tax either for those just starting out on the property ladder or those who require a more detailed council tax overview for their current situation. At Council Tax Advisors, we help with this as well as offering advice, an overview of council tax and solutions for those struggling with their council tax payments.

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“I am so happy and would absolutely recommend Council Tax Advisors to anyone who is in the same situation I was. Now all my council tax worries are gone, thank you Council Tax Advisors”

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For the personal component, there are discounts, rebates and reductions that can be applied depending on your circumstances, particularly if you are on a low income, suffer from a disability, or if your property fits certain exemption/reduction criteria.

Before April 1st 2013, council tax benefit was the responsibility of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), with local authorities managing and overseeing the process for administering it.

Council Tax Advisors - Council tax and debt advice

Discounts are available depending on your circumstances. Find out of you are entitled to a reduction.

If you qualified for council tax benefit before this date, you received your council tax bill with your benefit already having been deducted. After April 1st 2013, council tax benefit was ended and a new scheme – the Council Tax Reduction Scheme – took its place. If you are entitled to a reduction or discount you will now receive a bill showing a reduced liability, rather than a deduction.

If you are unsure whether you are entitled to a reduction, have a look at some of the information here or give one of our advisors a call on 0300 302 1806 for a confidential chat.

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For the property component, every property in Scotland falls into one of eight property valuation bands, and the amount of tax you pay will be based in part on which band your property falls into. The valuation bands were set in 1991 and every property’s market value was initially estimated by an Assessor and put into one of these bands. Unless you have bought a property with significant material changes to it, such as an extension that adds another room and therefore increases its value, it should be in the same banding as it was back in 1991.

You can find out more about how your property is valued for banding here.


Man 16

“You assured me of my legal rights. It gave me the confidence and wherewithal to stand up to the overwhelming pressure of being scared about a knock on the door. At last, I knew how to handle the situation.”

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Council tax can be complicated, especially if you have never had to pay it before. The information on the following pages explain how councils work out how much council tax you owe, what discounts and reductions you are entitled to, how to pay your bill and what to do if you cannot.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone in confidence, call 0300 302 1806 and one of our advisers will help