How to check your Council Tax band in Scotland - and what to do if you're paying too much

Introduced in 1993, council tax is used as a means to fund local public services - from police forces to bin collections.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 4:08 pm

Households in Scotland are allocated one of eight tax bands (A to H), with the tax set at a fixed amount for each band.

Here's how those council tax bands were decided - and how to find out if your property has been wrongly assigned a council tax band and overcharged as a result.

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Some Scottish households may have been overcharged for council tax (Shutterstock)

How are council tax bands decided?

Prior to the introduction of council tax, valuations of every property in the country were carried out in 1991, with tax bands allocated on the basis of these.

In 2007, an investigation by Tonight With Trevor McDonald found that millions of properties had been placed in the wrong band.

Termed as "second-gear valuations", it was revealed that valuations were often carried out by driving past homes and doing a perfunctory valuation.

As a result of the investigation, thousands of properties were re-banded, saving owners hundreds of pounds a year.

How can I find out if I'm in the wrong council tax band?

Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert first recommends asking your neighbour to find out which tax band they are in.

Alternatively you can find out your neighbour's tax band via the Scottish Assessors Association.

If they are in a lower tax band, then it may be possible that your property has been assigned the wrong band. Find out if this is the case by checking the value of your property in 1991. This can be achieved by entering a previous valuation of your house into Nationwide's House Price Index Calculator.

Once you have a 1991 valuation, compare it to the original tax bands, which can be found here.

If you believe that your property has been assigned to the wrong property band, you can apply for a reassessment. It is worth noting that your property could be moved up or down a tax band, so it is vital that you carry out an accurate valuation.

How to challenge

Scottish households can make a challenge at SAA.

This can be done by searching for a property under the "To Search for a Council Tax" band tab and then selecting the property in question and then selecting "Make a Proposal".