Council tax - common questions

I haven't received a Council Tax bill. What should I do?

If you have moved or your circumstances have changed and you have not let us know then please let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange for a new/amended bill to be sent to you.

If you delay you may find that your council tax instalments are higher than you anticipated as the later in the financial year we are the fewer instalments we can offer you.

If your circumstances have not changed you can request a copy bill online now or if you prefer you can contact us to arrange for a copy of your bill to be sent to you.

I have had a new council tax bill can you explain it and why have you sent it?

Many amended bills are issued during the course of the year, if and when circumstances of accounts alter.

The reason for the bill being issued is shown clearly see Your Council Tax Bill explained or contact us for more information.

Why do I have to pay council tax for the whole financial year, when I will be moving before the end of March ?

When we calculate your council tax bill it is under the assumption that everything will stay the same, we are aware that circumstances change and you may have a date in the future that you will be moving out.

If this happens we will update your account with the date you are vacating, then 2 weeks before the date we will re-calculate your account and send you the final balance bill.

Until you receive a revised council tax bill your original instalments are still due and payable. Failure to keep to this may result in recovery action.

To advise us of a move, please use the change of address form.

Can I make an arrangement to pay my council tax?

Your statutory instalments are shown on the lower half your council tax bill, see Your Council Tax Bill explained.

The Council is legally obliged to collect council tax in accordance with legislation and therefore is unable to accept any other payment arrangement less than that outlined on your bill. The only time any other legal arrangement can be made, is after the issue of a summons/liability order

If you cannot pay the full instalment amount please pay what you can afford, which will help to reduce the balance outstanding. You can tell us more about your financial circumstances and make an offer of payment by completing our income and expenditure form.

Can I change the date on which I pay my council tax instalments?

If you pay by Direct Debit you have the option of paying on the 5th, 15th, 23rd or last day of each month.

If you pay your council tax by any other method then payments are all due on or before the 1st or in some cases 15th of the month.

Please note: in some cases internet and telephone banking payments can take up to 7 days to clear, therefore please take this into account and make payments in advance, to ensure they reach your council tax account by the required date.

Please see Council Tax – How to Pay for details of all payment methods available.

I am disabled can I claim any reduction in my council tax charges?

A reduction is available called a Disabled Band Reduction and in order to qualify for this reduction your property must have been adapted for the needs of the disabled resident.

The disabled resident must be resident at the property - this reduction may still be applicable even if the disabled resident is a child.

If your application is successful you will be charged the equivalent of the band below your current valuation - for example if your property is currently valued as a band C you will be charged as if your property was a band B.

To apply you can complete the online disabled band reduction form.

Why have I received a reminder/final notice for my council tax?

If you do not pay your instalments shown on your bill by the due date, you will receive a reminder notice. It is therefore vital that you pay the whole of the instalment amount by the due date.

You may wish to consider paying by direct debit to ensure the amounts are paid on time.

If you receive a reminder or second reminder notice, and your instalments are not brought up to date within 7 days, a summons will be issued and this will add costs to your council tax. If you pay the amount by the due date, no further action will be taken.

On the third occasion that you fail to pay on time, you lose your right to pay by instalments & a final notice will be sent. This means the whole outstanding balance will become payable within 7 days.

I have received a final notice for council tax can I just bring my instalments up to date instead?

Once a final notice has been issued you have lost your right to pay council tax by instalments and the whole outstanding balance is now due.

Final notices are issued on the third occasion that your are late paying your instalments

Instalments may be reinstated if you elect to pay your council tax by Direct Debit as the Council is then guaranteed to receive your payment on time. However, you should not elect to pay by this method if you are unable to afford the instalments as bank charges will be incurred should your bank not honour the payment.

Please see Council Tax – How to Pay for details of all payment methods available.

What happens if the bailiffs visit my home?

The relevant bailiff company is now responsible for collecting your arrears of council tax .The companies used by the council are Equita and Rossendales and the bailiff will always have and show identity cards.

The bailiff companies employed by the Council are instructed to collect outstanding amount, including costs, as efficiently as possible.

The bailiff may consider making a payment arrangement with you but this will depend on what has happened previously on your account. Any arrangement made ideally should clear all monies owed, including costs within 3 months, but it is possible that this time could be extended depending on your circumstances.

If payment is not made, or an arrangement not kept, the bailiff has the right to enter your property, although never by force, to identify goods belonging to you, and /or your partner if applicable, that could be removed and sold at auction to repay your arrears.  If this happens substantial costs will be added.

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