Council tax arrears is now the biggest debt-related problem affecting people across Scotland, according to the Citizens Advice charity.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has revealed that its teams across the country issued guidance to individuals in relation to council tax debts on more than 17,000 occasions last year.
The average amount of money owed to local councils by people getting support from CAS about these issues was more than £3,000, which is nearly three times the average sum Scots are charged in council tax over a full year period.
Those people who contacted CAS in 2019 because they were struggling with their council tax arrears owed a collective total of almost £7 million to the various bodies across Scotland’s local authority network.
CAS is urging anyone who finds it hard to keep up with their council tax demands to check whether they’re eligible for council tax savings or exemptions.
The charity recommends people visit its newly created website www.checkmycounciltax.scot to figure out if they could be paying less in council tax than they have been doing or are likely to across 2020.
There are various circumstances in which households are entitled to exemptions, reductions and discounts on their council tax bills and the CAS wants to see as few people as possible missing out on those opportunities for savings.
“Across the country, most councils are set to increase council tax rates,” explained Myles Fitt, CAS’ financial health spokesperson.
“The Citizens Advice network offers free advice and a simple online tool which helps you see if you are entitled to money off your council tax.
“We want more people to access these entitlements and cut their bills as a result, so over the next two weeks we will be out and about across Scotland urging people to ‘Check to Save’, and get the advice they need at their local bureau.”
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