Business writes to residents on tax re-banding

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Letters offering to save Eastbourne residents money on their council tax have been received across the town.

The letter from Bainbridge Simpson Ltd tells residents their property has been identified as one likely to be in the incorrect council tax band – meaning they are paying a higher rate of tax than their neighbours.

The company, based in Manchester, also tells residents, “One or more of your neighbours [in a named road] has already been reclassified meaning they now pay less than you.”

The firm offers to apply to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for re-banding and will only charge a fee if successful.

The letter has left some wondering if they can save money and whether they should use the services of Bainbridge Simpson Ltd.

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “If someone believes that their property is in the wrong band they can contact the VOA themselves, without the need to go through a third party who will charge a commission or fee.”

The council do not decide the band of a property and the VOA could put the home in a higher band as opposed to a lower one.

A VOA spokesperson said, “If a taxpayer has concerns about their band, they can contact the VOA at any time to explain why they think it might be wrong. We will also review the bands of similar neighbouring properties to ensure they are correct and we provide this service free of charge.

“Taxpayers do sometimes instruct a third party to challenge a band on their behalf, who may charge a fee for this service.”

For more information about banding, including challenges, visit www.voa.gov.uk.