More than 2,400 homes have benefited from new discounts across the country that allow thousands of families who put up elderly relatives and others in annexes to their homes, to receive a reduction to their Council Tax bills.
It is believed that more than £1.3 million has been knocked off council tax bills nationwide since the charge was reduced last year, however, ministers believe many more people are entitled to the reductions and are urging town halls to be more open with residents about who can benefit, as well as encouraging those who think they might be eligible to apply.
The government moved to scrap the unfair surcharge on family annexes, where two Council Tax bills were being levied on the same home if it had a ‘granny flat’ or similar extension.
Discounts of 50% were authorised for properties where families were housing non-dependent relatives or where the annexe was in use by the main householder. These tax cuts were in addition to the already existing total exemptions given to families who were putting up a dependent relative.
Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said:
“It is only right we help hard-working families by giving people the choice to live with extended family without having to pay the price twice through double taxation in their Council Tax bills.
“Councils must pass this discount on to those who are rightly entitled to it. By cutting these taxes on family annexes we are sending a strong message that we want to help extended families stay together.
“We have been working to give people greater financial security by keeping household costs down through our 5-year Council Tax freeze which has saved the average band D household £1,075 since 2010, compared to a period between 1997 and 2010 when bills doubled”
If you have a dependent relative in an annexe, or are considering building one, be sure to discuss the council tax implications with your local council – you might well be able to save hundreds on your future bills.