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Some 860,000 households are owed council tax refunds worth a total of £150m, an investigation by Money Saving Expert has revealed.
Unclaimed rebates most commonly arise when a householder has moved out of the area but had already paid their council tax bill upfront.
If the account is not closed by the holder, or they did not pay by direct debit, the council may struggle to find them and the account will have been closed in credit.
A freedom of information request by Money Saving Expert, which gathered data from 364 local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, found that 38 UK councils each owe more than £1m.
Rebates are also issued if a home is re-banded to a lower band and tax has already been paid at the higher rate.
Gareth Shaw, deputy editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "While many councils do make an effort to track down those who have cash lying unclaimed, they are still staggeringly sitting on £150m worth of overpayments.
"You're less likely to have overpaid if you use direct debit, but it's not impossible, so if you've moved home it's worth checking if you might be due – especially if you changed local authority area and paid by cash, cheque or standing order instead. Each council has its own way of processing claims, but some have an easy online form.
"But don't just call on the off chance you might be due – do a little bit of digging so you don't clog up councils' switchboards for those who need essential and urgent support.
"Check your previous statements and bills to see if council tax you paid upfront covers a period after you moved and if you closed your account in credit."
Here's how you can find out if you are owed a council tax refund.
Claiming back council tax
The best way to check if you're due a rebate, and the procedure of claiming it, varies from council to council. You can call, email or live chat with your council to ask if you're due a refund.
The Department for Levelling Up told Yahoo News UK it recommends anyone who thinks they may be entitled to a refund contact their local council. Find your local council's contact details on Gov.uk.
Read More From Yahoo News UK:
Some councils may offer an online council tax refund form to complete. When filling in the form you will need to provide evidence that you have overpaid, and many require you to have your old council tax reference number.
If your council does not have an online form you will need to call or email them to request an investigation into your closed account.