MSP urges homeowners to check for tax discounts

Homeowners are being urged to check if they qualify for any Council Tax discounts.
Homeowners are being urged to check if they qualify for any Council Tax discounts.

Mairi Evans MSP has urged high band Council Tax payers in Angus and Aberdeenshire to check if they are eligible for a discount under Council Tax Reduction Scheme reforms.

From April, all properties in Angus will incur a minimum increase of three per cent while Aberdeenshire Council Tax bills will go up by at least 2.5 per cent, with further increases for property owners in bands E to H.

In addition to the tax increase, the Council Tax Reduction Scheme is being overhauled to ensure households with an income of below £25,000 will be eligible to apply for an exemption on the new increases.

Most applicants, who have existing reductions in place, will have their discount automatically applied but Evans is keen to ensure that every homeowner gets what they are entitled to.

Evans, who represents Angus North and Mearns, said: “When the Council Tax reform was first announced there was a misconception that every person living in a Band E to H house would see their bills go up as a result of the changes – regardless of their financial situation.

“This isn’t the case. As well as an increase to Council Tax bills for the first time in ten years in Angus and nine in Aberdeenshire, the Council Tax Reduction Scheme has been reformed to ensure those that can’t afford to pay more, don’t.

“There are 54,000 band E to H households in Scotland that shouldn’t be impacted by the reforms and some of those will be in Angus North and Mearns.

“A lot of concessions will be automatically applied – if they were already on a qualifying reduction – but there will always be some who slip through the net due to a change of circumstance or eligibility.

“As the Council Tax letters begin to drop into homes across Angus and Aberdeenshire I want to ensure that no-one pays more than they have to.

“If you live in a higher band property, there is more than one adult in your household and your annual income is below £25,000 you may be entitled to a discount.

“Similarly, if you are a single person earning below £16,750 then you should contact your local authority to see if you meet the criteria.”