Some people can claim discounts or exemptions for Council Tax, which help to reduce their bill. There are also schemes to assist taxpayers on low incomes or where a disabled person is a resident.
Taxpayers are usually assumed to pay by 10 monthly instalments, although this can be increased to 12 months upon request, and there are provisions for recovering unpaid amounts through the Courts. The taxpayer has extensive rights of appeal that are heard by the independent Valuation Tribunal.
Each year the Council sends out a bill, known as a 'demand note' to everyone who is liable for Council Tax. This will include details of:
If you own more than one property, you may receive a demand note for each of them. We are obliged to publish details about:
An explanation of how the Council Tax charges have been calculated. Please refer to the council tax guide below.
If you are having any difficulty paying your council tax or to find out how much council tax you owe or request a copy bill please contact Customer Services: email email@example.com, telephone 0300 303 8588 or visit our council access points.
The council will never text anyone about a council tax refund. Should your account be in credit, the council will either write or e-mail you to ask for details as to how the refund should be paid. Please do not give out your bank details at any other time.
If your account falls into arrears, a reminder notice will be sent. This will allow you seven days to make up any shortfall. If we have not received payment after fourteen days then the total unpaid balance for the year will become due. If you are not entitled to monthly instalments, or the final instalment date has passed, we will issue a final notice - but at this stage you can still pay the outstanding amount. If, after this, we still fail to receive payment we may take the matter to court. If the court rules in our favour we will then take action to recover the debt. Recovery Procedure up to Liability Order [93kb] , Recovery Procedure after Liability Order [175kb]
If your circumstances change during the year (e.g. if you move, change your employment, or suffer a disabling injury), you may pay more than you should have done. In cases like this it is important to tell us what has happened. We will then review your payments, make any necessary alterations, and refund any money that has been overpaid.
Council tax can only be charged on what is known as a 'chargeable dwelling'
This is a property, or part of a property, that is:
Normally the owner is liable for Council Tax on:
Otherwise liability will fall on the person who comes first on the following list:
If this covers more than one person, then they will be jointly and severally liable for paying Council Tax. To help identify the liable person the Council has a number of rights and powers to obtain the necessary information.
There is a recently updated guidance booklet for those appealing against a council tax liability decision. Here is a link to it and other guidance booklets. http://www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk/vt_guidance_notes.aspx
The Valuation Tribunal deals with these appeals and will be re-launching their website at the end of March 2016; details can be found at http://www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk,