Introduction to Council Tax
Council Tax is paid to the Council by the main resident (or in some cases by the owner) of every dwelling. Each dwelling is allocated to one of eight valuation bands, A-H by the Valuation Officer, and every year the council sets the tax for dwellings in band D. The tax for the other bands is calculated as a fraction of this figure.
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.
Your Council Tax Bill
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:
- the valuation band
- the amount of tax calculated for that band
- any discounts, reductions or council tax benefit
- any credit, arrears, overpaid benefit, or amount for an earlier year
- the amount, payment date and payment methods for monthly instalments.
If you own more than one property, you may receive a demand note for each of them. We are obliged to publish details about:
- your Parish budget
- the Council's budget
- the County budget
- the Police Authority budget
- the Fire and Rescue Authority budget and
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
How You Can Pay
Reminders and Final Notices
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 Liability
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:
- used only as a private dwelling (or dwellings), and
- not shown in, or exempt from being shown in, a non-domestic valuation list
Normally the owner is liable for Council Tax on:
- Residential Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Mental Nursing Homes and Hostels
- Dwellings inhabited by religious communities
- Houses in multiple occupation
- Dwellings occupied by resident staff
- Dwellings inhabited by ministers of religion
Otherwise liability will fall on the person who comes first on the following list:
- a resident of the dwelling with a freehold interest in all or part of the dwelling
- a resident with the largest leasehold interest in all or part of the dwelling
- a resident who is a statutory or secure tenant in all or part of the dwelling
- a resident with a contractual license to occupy all or part of the dwelling
- a resident
- the owner
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,