Some local authorities in England will be able to raise council tax by almost 6% next year.

The Government is allowing councils to increase council tax by an additional 1% without a local referendum - so they can now increase it by up to 3% rather than 2%.

But coupled with the 3% additional 'precept' which authorities with social care responsibilities - such as the provision of care for adults with disabilities - can charge, this gives some councils the freedom to hike bills by up to 5.99% next April - without seeking voters' approval.

If all local authorities impose the maximum rise permitted, the average Band D council tax bill in 2018/19 could be £1,653.30 - which is a rise of around £90.

For ways to manage your council tax payments, see below.

For how to cut your council tax bills, see our Council Tax Bands guide

In England you can pay your bills over 12 months

Council tax payments are often made over 10 months, but in April 2013 the Government announced all councils in England must allow you to pay your council tax over 12 months.

If you live in England, contact your council and tell it you want to change to the 12 month payment schedule.

Martin Lewis
Get Our Free Money Tips Email!

Full-time student? You shouldn't be paying

If you're a full-time student living alone or with other students you don't need to pay council tax, no matter how many of you live together.

If you're a full-time student living with a non-student, you're disregarded, so the non-student is treated as though they live alone and can claim the 25% single person's discount.

If you're a full-time student living with more than one non-student, you're still exempt, but because there are two non-students the house has to pay the full 100% charge.

Live alone? Get a 25% discount

If you live alone or are classed as the only adult in the home in England, Scotland or Wales, you may be eligible for a single person's discount, meaning a 25% reduction.

Are you eligible for a 'severe mental impairment' discount?

If you live with someone medically certified as having a permanent condition that affects their intelligence and social functioning, eg, Alzheimer's or severe learning difficulties you could be eligible for a 25% council tax discount.

This is because the person you live with is 'disregarded for council tax purposes' in England, Scotland and Wales. See our Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’ guide for full information.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

Have your say