MONEY-SAVING expert Martin Lewis says that hundreds of thousands of people are paying the wrong council tax band - and you could be in line for a refund of thousands of pounds.

He was speaking on his ITV Martin Lewis Money Show and explained how to check to see if you could pay less.

"You could be owed thousands of pounds in a host of different ways," he said.

And you can get the overpaid tax backdated all the way to 1993 - seeing some serious amounts of cash returned to you.

In fact, he found seven different ways people could pay less.

This is what he said you should check.

1. Check your council tax band

The Bolton News: Pay your council tax by Direct Debit and you could win £25,000

This is the biggy - with as many 400,000 homes in the wrong council tax band.

If you're in the wrong band, and paying too much council tax, you can also backdate this all the way to 1993.

Martin talked about one viewer who claimed back £3,300 as a result.

"I came up for with this system back in 2007 ... it's got two checks to it," Martin said.

The first thing to do is check what your neighbours are paying by going to the Valuation Office Agency  (VOA) in England or the  Scottish Assessors Association  (SAA) in Scotland.

It you're paying more than your neighbours are, then it's on to step two.

This is where you need to work out what your house was worth in 1991.

The good news is there are plenty of free tools online to let you do this.

Once you know that, you can see what band you should have been put in.

However, Martin did issue a warning too and said to only apply of you are 'paying in too high a band'

As if you get it wrong, and it's your neighbours who are in the wrong band, they could see their bills rise, while yours stay the same and you would not be popular with them.

2. Discounts for lower occupancy

Are you a single adult, living alone - well you could be pocketing 25% on your council tax.

However he added that you don't need to live alone to claim this.

It's all about qualifying adults, so students, carers, children and others can all be disregarded for council tax.

In some cases every person living in a house can be excluded - meaning no tax is due at all.

Claims on this can be backdateable too...which is good news.

3. Discounts for benefit claimants

There are discounts of up to 100% for people on certain benefits.

But these aren't automatically applied when you claim the benefit - you need to directly with your local council (details of your council is at

The reduction comes on top of any benefits or universal credit you receive, but the reduction amount depends on your council and circumstances.

Some councils let you backdate the reduction, but it depends on each council, so make sure you check.

4.Severe mental health impairment council tax discounts

The Money Saving Expert added how you can claim back thousands in just five minutes.

If you - or someone you live with - has a disability, a health condition or are a carer, you could be overpaying on council tax without even knowing it.

You could be entitled to a discount of a quarter if you live with someone with a severe mental impairment and no other adults, or only adults who are also disregarded for council tax purposes or a 100% discount - if you have a severe mental impairment and live alone.

You won't believe it but the better news is claims are back-dated - meaning you could get huge amounts back.

One viewer got £700 back for their father, and claimed another £2,100 for their mother.

"To get it back contact your local council," Martin said.

5. Coronavirus help

There are some council tax holidays coming to 100,000s of homes so it may be worth checking if you’re entitled

The Local Government Association had told residents to check their council website to see who qualifies for a tax break.

It's all thanks to a support fund from the Treasury - aimed at helping working age people who are on a Local Council Tax Support Your council tax could be slashed by £150 a year.

Those who already pay less than £150 a year will not pay council tax at all.

6. Have you adapted your home?

If you've made changes to your home for a disabled resident, you could claim some cash back.

However you may get your tax band lowered rather than a discount.

7. Are they sitting on your cash

Don't forget that many people pay council tax a month or a year ahead.

So if you move house, they keep it until you ask for it back.

So if you've moved in the past few years, search for council tax refunds on your old council's site.

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