United Kingdom: UK Axes Council Tax Surcharges
28 August 2013
Posted by: Author: Robert Lee
Author: Robert Lee
The UK Government has said that it will remove an "unfair" Council Tax surcharge on family annexes.
The existing Council Tax exemption for annexes only applies when they are occupied by a severely disabled individual or by a "dependant" aged 65 or over. The Government says that the system penalizes those who do not meet the criteria, by billing householders for both their main property and their annex.
Under the proposed reforms, the Government will introduce a new national discount for all family annexes. Its preferred option is a 50 percent discount on family annexes. This could save families an average of GBP485 (USD775) a year on a typical GBP2,427 combined Council Tax bill.
There are an estimated 24,150 family annexes in England. The changes would not necessitate any valuation or revaluation process. Householders would instead need to apply to their local authority, as they do for existing discounts.
The Government has also announced that it intends to axe the community infrastructure levy on self-build properties, and the "Section 106" housing levies on annexes and extensions.
Community Secretary Eric Pickles said: "I believe the government should be supporting hard-working families who do the right thing. Removing the family tax penalty on annexes and home improvements will help provide more affordable housing and strengthen the bonds that tie society together.
"By cutting town hall taxes on family annexes, extensions and home improvements, we are supporting aspiration and choice, as well as giving a boost to the construction sector and local traders.
These common sense tax cuts will increase the provision of affordable housing to those on lower and middle incomes. Encouraging extended families to stay together will reduce social care costs to the taxpayer, and protect independence and dignity for the young and old."