Council tax bills are annual payments made against residential properties to local council authorities by homeowners and tenants in England, Scotland and Wales. They serve as revenue for local councils to provide for community-based services. These bills are usually received in March and are due as 10 monthly instalments from April to January with February and March being tax holidays. However, if residents are unable to pay their council tax bills on time, they may request for these instalments to be broken down into 12 parts; reducing the amount they will have to pay each month.

How Do I Find Out My Council Tax Account Number Without Bill?

Your council tax account number is available on your paper bill, on your bank statement (in case you pay your monthly bills through Direct Debit or Standing Order), by logging into your council tax account or any other letter received from your local council. It is printed on the right-hand side of your council tax bill and is usually an eight-digit number. In case you don’t have access to your council tax account number you can simply call your local council office and request the details or a duplicate council tax bill. They may require you to furnish supportive evidence before they share any details with you.

Your council tax bill is a very important document as it carries details of annual council tax, amounts and due dates of each monthly instalment and the valuation band assigned to your property. You will need your council tax account number each time you make a payment to council authorities or need to discuss anything related to your payments.

To learn more about council tax bills, we will discuss some important areas including the following:

  • What Does My Council Tax Bill Show?
  • Does Your Council Tax Reference Number Change?
  • What Does Your Council Tax Bill Tell You?
  • How Do I Know How Much Council Tax To Pay?
  • Who Has to Make Council Tax Payments?
  • How Do I Pay My Council Tax Bills?

What Does My Council Tax Bill Show?

Your council tax bill includes the following important information:

  • Personal reference number: This number is used to talk to local authorities about your bill.
  • Date: This is the date when the bill was printed which also indicates the due date for your payments. 
  • Name: The name of the person liable to pay the bill.
  • Address 1: The physical address of the property which is being billed.
  • Address 2: Recipient’s address (if different from the billing address of the property).
  • Amount: The amount that you need to pay for the year as well as mention of any reductions/discounts that you are eligible for.
  • Details of instalments: This shows the amounts that are due each month along with due dates.
  • Mode of payment: (e.g. direct debit)
  • Reason: This mentions that this is an annual bill.
  • Contribution: This indicates a break up of the recipient’s contribution towards council services, fire service and the police service.
  • Total: This shows the total amount due for the year for this council tax band.
  • Band: This indicates the council band assigned to your property.
  • Reduced band: This appears in case there has been a change from your previous band to a new one in case of any changes to your living conditions. 

On the reverse side of your council tax bill, you will find important information as well as contact details for you to follow up with,

You may Pay your Council Tax online or via direct debit.

Does Your Council Tax Reference Number Change?

Yes, your council tax reference number changes each time you are sent a new council tax bill; which, under usual circumstances is once a year. Council tax is a yearly tax that is spread across 10 monthly instalments. However, the bill that you will receive will be on an annual basis with dates marked when each month’s instalment is due.

What Does Your Council Tax Bill Tell You?

Essentially, your council tax bills indicate the following three areas:

  • the total amount due for the entire year
  • how the annual amount has been worked out by the local authorities
  • the dates are payments will be due

A standard bill is spread over 10 monthly instalments that run between April and January. However, if residents find it difficult to make timely amounts as per the monthly amount that is due, they can request their local council to divide this annual tax into 12 instalments.

It must be remembered that you may not receive the same amount of council tax bill as another person living in your council. This is a property-based tax that varies depending upon the value of the property. 

Also, each council designs their council tax scheme. This means that your bill may be different as compared to another individual living in a different council. You can click on this link to contact your local council Find your local council – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How Do I Know How Much Council Tax To Pay?

Anyone who owns or rents a property in England, Scotland and Wales and is above 18 years of age is eligible to pay a council tax. A full council tax is applicable on properties occupied by two or more adults. However, it is not just the number of residents that determine the amount of council tax due on the property. 

Houses are assigned bands based on their market value by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) with Band A indicating the least market price and Band H indicating the highest market price. 

Based on these bands, the local council office calculates the yearly amount of council tax due on individual properties. Then, they break it down into 10 monthly instalments due for payment between April and January. February and March are tax-free months in which no council tax instalments are issued (unless a resident has requested 12 monthly instalments as compared to 10)

If a property is occupied by a single adult who lives on their own or is the only adult in the house (the other residents must be younger than 18 years of age), they qualify for a 25 per cent on their council tax bill.

If all the residents of a property are younger than 18 years of age, they will become eligible for a 50 per cent discount on their council tax bill. If all the residents are full-time students, they will be completely exempted from paying council tax at all.

If someone receives a council tax bill by mistake, they must inform their local council office immediately Find your local council

Who Has to Make Council Tax Payments?

Usually, one person is considered the prime point of contact and the one considered as “liable” to pay council tax bills. To qualify for this, the said occupant must be above 18 years of age. Couples sharing premises are jointly liable for their council tax bills; however, anyone of them may be listed to be considered as liable for payments.

In the case of a rented property, it is the tenant who is liable to pay council tax. However, should any of the following situations occur, the liability becomes extended towards the owner:

  • all the occupants are under 18 years of age
  • the occupants are asylum seekers
  • the occupants are multiple households/ couples/ individuals co-sharing the rent and premises
  • the property is a second home or holiday home and the residents have a main home elsewhere
  • the property is a care home or refugee shelter

How Do I Pay My Council Tax Bills?

Direct Debit is the most convenient method of making council tax payments since the annual tax is split across 10 monthly instalments and the payment plan is shared by the local councils at the beginning of the term in April.

While the instalments assigned by local councils are 10, individuals wishing to spread them over 12 months instead may apply to their local council office and request the same. Payments may also be made on an annual or half-yearly basis.

Although the instalments are due on the 1st of each month, individuals choosing to pay through direct debit may choose 1st, 8th, 15th or 22nd.

To learn more about methods of council tax bill payments, the following link may be useful Ways to pay your council tax | Ways to pay your council tax | Ealing Council

Conclusion:

While council tax bills carry all relevant details with regards to billing; should you misplace the printed copy of your bill and need your council tax account number to make payments, you can refer to your bank statement (in case you pay your monthly bills through Direct Debit or Standing Order), by logging into your council tax account or any other letter received from your local council. 

FAQs: How Do I Find Out My Council Tax Account Number Without Bill?

How do I find my Council Tax reference number online?

Your council tax reference number appears on the front of your council tax bill, under the council tax account number. Council tax bills are available in print as well as online. For this, you need to be registered for online bills with your local council office. If you are not registered already, you can call them and avail of the service.

Can I view my Council Tax account online?

Yes, you can view your council tax account online by using the Council Tax online service through your local council authorities.

Can I request a copy of my Council Tax bill?

Yes, you can contact your local council office to obtain a copy of your council tax bill; both in print or online. A duplicate e-bill is generally sent by local authorities within 24 hours of your request.

How much is Council Tax a month?

Your annual council tax bill is spread across 10 monthly instalments. The amount of your dues depend upon the valuation band assigned to your house, plus your personal circumstances; also taking into consideration any council tax benefits that you may be eligible for.

How do I get a Council Tax reference number?

To get registered for your council tax payments online you can sign up for My Account by adding the required details on your local council website. For step by step guidance and to avoid errors, it is advisable to take guidance from your local council office.

References:

How to find your Council Tax account number

Online council tax FAQs | My Account re-registration FAQs

Council Tax: Paying your bill

Ways to pay your council tax | Ways to pay your council tax

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