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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
National
Mustafa Javid Qadri

Martin Lewis shares tip to save thousands of pounds on council tax bills

Ian West/PA Wire

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis has shared a way to potentially save thousands of pounds in council tax.

Speaking on ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show this week, he shared the little-known fact that Britons could be entitled to a Severe Mental Impairment (SMI) discount which could save them from paying council tax on their property.

Individuals must meet certain criteria before they are legally eligible to be discounted for council tax purposes.

Mr Lewis said: “Now what that means is, let’s imagine it was me, and me and Angelica were a couple living together. I’ve got SMI, so Angelica is the only adult in the household who is eligible to pay council tax, so you are going to get the 25 per cent single-person’s discount.”

The saving can be backdated, saving people thousands of pounds.

Mr Lewis said: “It is so undercover that some offices when you call them up don’t even know it exists.”

“If you think you know anyone in that position, look up the Severe Mental Impairment council tax discount and there are probably 100,000 people out there missing out.”

To claim an SMI discount, a person will need to get a certificate to say they are severely mentally impaired from a medical professional, such as their GP, and will need to prove they are eligible for certain benefits that their council will have more details on.

A person may be able to get a 100 per cent SMI discount if they live on their own or if any other adults in their household qualify as severely mentally impaired, or if they are full-time students.

An individual can get a 50 per cent discount if everyone else in their household is classed as ‘disregarded’, meaning they don’t pay council tax, such as students.

A person who lives with someone who is severely mentally impaired can get a 25 per cent discount if there are no other adults in the household or if everyone else in the home is classed as disregarded.

Council tax pays for essential local services such as social services and waste and recycling collections. The charge is based on the valuation band for property and varies depending on the rates set by the local council.

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