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.

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.

Tell us about your circumstances

We only want to receive the correct amount of Council Tax from you. If we are unaware of your circumstances, we may well miss a reduction that you are entitled to.

Please check out our Reductions and Discounts page and let us know if you think you may be 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.

If you wish to pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, please complete our Payment Method Change form and we'll set it up for you. Please ensure you have your Council Tax account number (beginning 1010) and your bank account details. Please also ensure this form is completed by the authorised signatory of the bank account.

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, for example, 1010XXXXXX.

Set up an online account to view your bills

Did you know you can view your account online? Register for an online account and always be up to date. 

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 the 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 about your bill, the instalments or what information we may need from you, you can contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or call us on 01954 713 000.

Council Tax Discretionary Reduction Scheme

The Council has the discretion to reduce the amount of Council Tax payable by a person, where such charges result in extreme hardship. These are decided on a case by case basis, in accordance with the Council's policy on discretionary reductions.

For more information, please view the policy and how to apply.

Keeping in touch with us helps us to understand your circumstances

If you are struggling to make payments to us, please call 01954 713 000. 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.

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