Use our 2022-23 council tax calculator to find out how much local authorities are charging for each council tax band, simply by entering a postcode.

Council tax rebate 2022

In April 2022, thousands of households are set to receive council tax rebates to offset the rising costs of energy.

In England, those living in council tax bands A to D will receive a £150 council tax rebate, which will not need to be repaid. Those who don’t qualify may benefit from the £144m discretionary fund for local authorities to give to vulnerable residents and those with low incomes.

In Scotland, £150 will go to those who are part of the council tax reduction scheme, plus anyone in Scottish council tax bands A to D.

In Wales, £150 will be paid immediately to those in council tax bands A to D, and those who are part of the council tax reduction scheme.

You can find out more in our dedicated news story, plus our tips from across Which? on how to ease the squeeze during the cost of living crisis.

2022-23 council tax calculator

Our calculator can help you see how much local authorities are charging for each council tax band – to use it, simply enter the postcode of the area you want to check.

This is great if you want to see the rates where you live, check the rates in an area you’re looking to move to, or just want to compare how charges vary between local authorities – and they can vary a lot.

What is council tax?

Council tax is collected by your local council to pay for services in your community.

The system for deciding how much you pay is slightly different depending on where you live in the UK.

Properties in England are split into eight bands (A-H), depending on the price they would have sold for in April 1991, when valuations for the current system were made.

Scottish properties are split into the same number of bands, also based on their value in April 1991, but the band ranges are different.

Properties in Wales were re-valued in 2003, so property values are based on their market value on 1 April 2003. There are nine valuation bands, labelled A-I.

Northern Ireland’s domestic rates

Northern Ireland charges domestic rates. These are calculated by multiplying the rateable capital value of a property by the ‘domestic rate poundage’ – which is the sum of the domestic regional rate and domestic district rate.

The table below shows the rates for 2022-23:

Council Domestic rate poundage
Antrim and Newtownabbey Council 0.008292
Ards and North Down Borough Council 0.008192
Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council 0.009170
Belfast City Council 0.008136
Causeway Coast and Glens 0.008702
Derry City and Strabane District Council 0.009853
Fermanagh and Omagh Council 0.008393
Lisburn & Castlereagh Council 0.007847
Mid & East Antrim Council 0.009149
Mid Ulster Council 0.008079
Newry, Mourne and Down Council 0.008720

Find out more: UK council tax bands

 

Who pays council tax?

Paying the bill is normally the responsibility of the person living in the property, either the owner-occupiers or tenants in privately rented or council accommodation.

Some properties are exempt from council tax, as are some groups of people. You may also qualify for a 25% or 50% discount on the bill, depending on who lives in the property. We explain how exemptions and reductions work in our guide on reducing your council tax bill.

You’ll be sent a bill in April each year, with the option to pay off the amount in full, or broken up in instalments. You can find out more about how billing works, and what happens if you can’t pay, in our guide to paying council tax

How is council tax spent?

Money earned through council tax goes towards local services such as the police, fire services, support for the elderly and vulnerable, parks maintenance, refuse disposal and street cleaning.

Each council is responsible for allotting the funds as it sees fit.

Council tax pays for 25% of local government spending. Other money comes from business rates. These services are also funded by central government.

Who sets council tax rates?

Council tax rates are set by more than 9,000 local authorities across the country. The billing authorities collect council tax, while precepting authorities help set the rate and have it collected on their behalf.

Your council tax bill will show which local authorities charge council tax in your area, and it’s likely to be a mix of several types.

Billing authorities

Billing authorities run your local council tax system. These are the authorities you’ll need to consult if you have a query about your bill.

Your billing authority is likely to be the non-metropolitan district council, metropolitan district council, unitary authority, London borough or the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

Precepting authorities

Major precepting authorities include county councils, police and crime commissioner, fire and rescue authority, Greater London authority and combined authority mayors. These cover a large area, and usually include several billing authorities.

Local precepting authorities cover a small area – like a village or town. They include town councils, parish councils and charter trustees.

How are council tax bills calculated?

The council tax bill for each property depends on which band it’s in and how much money the local authority needs to raise.

In England, the charge for a property in band A is always one-third of the charge for a property in band H.

All councils will prepare their budget and council tax proposals between December and February each year.

Councils can raise bills by up to 2% without the need of a referendum, and there’s an additional social care precept that they may qualify to add.

However, councils could increase rates by a higher percentage if it’s agreed by a local referendum.

This means some people could see a significant rise in their council tax bills. Find out more about how council tax bands work.

If you think you’re being charged too much council tax, see our guide on how to get a council tax refund.