Ballymena CAB campaigns for Armed Forces rates rebate

LOCAL serving members of the Armed Forces should be entitled to a rates rebate for any time spent on duties overseas, according to Ballymena Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB).

The local Bureau has discovered that serving military personnel living in mainland UK can claim back Council Tax for periods when they are out of the country while their home-owning counterparts in Northern Ireland can not get a similar refund for rates.

Ballymena CAB Manager, Tony Adams said that Land and Property had confirmed there are no exemptions for Armed Forces serving abroad.

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“The CAB feels the situation is unfair and should be changed to allow similar rate rebate for the weeks and months that these members of the Armed Forces are out of the country on overseas duties.

“Ballymena CAB hopes that this situation can be rectified soon and intends to raise the issue with local political representatives,” he said.

Ballymena CAB has provided the following available information on help with Council Taxes which may make interesting reading for local members of the Armed Forces serving abroad.

You may be able to get a tax-free relief payment for council tax or contributions if you are serving abroad and pay:

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* Council tax on a property in the UK or contributions instead of council tax for service family accommodation.

* If you have served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq you should receive payments covering any period of service abroad since October 1, 2007.

* Payments are issued at the end of your time aborad and are based on the number of days served abroad.

* If you were deployed in the following locations from February 1, 2008, you should receive payments covering any period of service abroad - Bahrain, Bosnia, British Forces South Atlantic Islands, Diego Garcia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Royal Navy Ships in receipt of Deployment Welfare Package (Overseas), United Nations Operations.