Support on payment issues
Below you will find some tips that will help you to understand your Council Tax bill. This is based on questions we are regularly asked from residents. If you have any further questions, please do get in touch using the details at the bottom of the page.
Pay on time to avoid recovery action
Council Tax must be paid on time to avoid recovery action. Payments must reach your account by the 8th of each month. If you have an application or appeal currently being reviewed, you still need to make payments until a revised bill is issued. We do not hold recovery action for appeals and applications. If an adjustment is made, future instalments will be reduced or a credit refunded.
Tell us about your circumstances
We only want to receive the correct amounts. If we are unaware of your circumstances, we may well miss a reduction that you are entitled to. Please check out our Council Tax Exemptions, Disregards and Discounts page and let us know if you are entitled to a reduction.
You may be eligible for Council Tax Support
If your household is on a low income, you may be able to claim Council Tax Support to reduce your bill. Our Council Tax Support page has more information on how to apply.
Always remember a payment with Direct Debit
We can set up a Direct Debit for the 8th or 23rd of each month. This is usually the most efficient payment method for the Council and the Council Tax payer. You can download a form from our website, or call us on 03450 450064 to set one up over the phone.
Be sure your payment is on time
Payments made after the 8th of the month from all payment methods, are deemed late. If you know you are getting paid after the 23rd (and have not set up a Direct Debit), it may be better for you to make payments at the end of the previous month to cover your instalments. This will also avoid Recovery documents being issued. An example of this could be: after receiving your annual bill around the 16th of March, you make your first payment by the end of March, ready for 8th April.
Set up a Standing Order to control payments yourself
If you do not wish to set up a Direct Debit, you can set up a Standing Order via your bank. Please make sure they reach us by the instalment due date, at the latest. If you are not able to pay until you receive your wages or Benefit payment which comes in after the 8th, you will need to be paying a month in advance to avoid getting behind and ensuring you do not fall into Recovery action. It is very important that the only reference you use is your Council Tax account number, e.g., 1010XXXXXX.
Set up an online account to view your bills
Did you know you can set up an account with My Accounts? From here you can view your Council Tax account or Benefit claim whenever you like. This is especially handy if you have had many adjustments to your bill throughout the year. It is always best practice to check your bills regularly.
Create a reminder on your phone or computer
This is a good way of reminding you to make the payment on time. You could set up a reminder in your calendar on your phone, or on your computer. Calendar appointments offer an alert facility, so you could set the alert to go off 48 hours in advance so you know you have time to make the payment.
Spreading the costs over 12 months can be more manageable
You can request to have your Council Tax bill over 12 instalments, April to March. The default set up is over 10 instalments, April to January. This will make the monthly instalments slightly cheaper and more manageable.
You can get independent advice to talk through your bills
If you would like to know more information about your bill, the instalments or what information we may need from you, you can contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or 03450 450 064.
Keeping in touch with us helps us to understand your circumstances
If you are struggling to make payments to us, please call 03450 450 064. We are here to give advice on making payments, discuss your calculations and we can explain the Recovery process too. We want to make sure that you are confident with your bill and remove any myths you may have heard. If you continue to make payments, as and when it is possible, and keep in touch with us, we will be in a better position to support you without action being taken.