Council Tax payment – a quick Council Tax help guide

By | October 12, 2016

A Council Tax payment is one of those things that you have to make, failing to do so can result in legal action. Take a read of our quick guide on making payment.

Council Tax payment
How much is Council Tax and how do I know what my Council Tax payment will be ?

The local authority will determine what your Council Tax charge is going to be – that is the annual charge less any discounts, exemptions or reduction. You can easily find your annual charge.

You will be sent a Council Tax bill (more properly referred to as a demand notice) which will show you your Council Tax band, what payments are required, the amount of each payment and the deadline for each payment to be received.

You should always make sure that it’s your name that should be on bill – don’t automatically assume it’s correct. If in doubt it’s always best to take further advice.

The Council Tax band shown on the bill is set by the Valuation Office Agency rather than the local authority. Any dispute or query should be raised direct with them.

What if I don’t get a Council Tax bill ?

If you don’t get a Council Tax bill then you should contact your local authority as soon as possible. There is a risk it has been sent out and you’ve not  received it  – the local authority will still be expecting payment from you.

If for some reason the local authority aren’t aware that you should be liable then they can issue a bill retrospectively. Once a bill has been issued (and only then) they have up to 6 years during which a court summons could be issued for non-payment.

When should I be paying Council Tax?

There are two main instalment plans set in legislation, a maximum of 10 monthly payment or a maximum of 12. Variations on these schemes may be available however the 10 month scheme is the default.

You will only receive the maximum number of payments only if your first payment is in April.  If your bill is issued later in the year you will receive less payments. The number of payments is based on the number of months remaining.

If you pay over 10 payments you will have February and March as a Council Tax payment break (they are not free months !). With a 12 payment plan you will pay each month.

How can I choose Council Tax payment over 12 months ?

Yes you can !  A request should be made in writing but the local authority may accept verbal requests if they wish.  The local authority cannot reject your request unless you’ve lost the right to pay by instalments. Providing you have the right to so so then you can elect to move to the 12 month plan at any time. More information on instalments.

What if I don’t make my Council Tax payment ?

If you don’t make payment as required then you will be sent at least one notice to warn you. If you don’t pay as shown on these notices you may forfeit the right to payment by instalments.

If you have lost the right to pay by instalments and you don’t clear the balance a court summons will be issued. Following a court summons the magistrates may grant a liability order and allow the local authority to take enforcement action.

Advice & Assistance from LGFA92

Good quality help with your Council Tax dispute can be hard to come across – there’s a lack of independent, expert, places where you can get the help you need however LGFA92 are here to change that. See how we can help today

Contact us today. Email us at [email protected], Call our Council Tax helpline on 0191 6451118.

This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.