In this brief blog, we are going to discuss the Rates NI. In Northern Ireland, the “Rates NI” are the taxes we pay to the Northern Ireland government.
What do the Rates NI pay for?
The Rates in NI pay for the public services which are provided by the NI government. There are two rates you will pay in NI, these are the regional rate and the district rate. These two rates will be included in your rates bill.
Rates NI – Regional rate
The regional rate you pay in NI is charged annually. This NI rate is charged in each council within Northern Ireland.
When you pay the regional rate to your council this is used by your council to pay for the following things:
The justice system
The education system
The emergency services
social services and community development
Everybody in Northern Ireland pays and contributes towards the regional rates and this is used for public services. There is no restriction on the public services which you can use based on your regional rate payment.
Rates NI – District rate
The rates NI District rate is also set by each council within Northern Ireland. The district rate pays for services such as:
arts, events and recreation
If you are unsure of the district rate which you should be paying then you can get more information about your district rate from your local council.
Paying your Rates in Ni will help the Northern Ireland government to pay for public services which you and I enjoy.
Paying your rates in NI
To ensure you pay your rates in NI on time you can set up a direct debit by asking Land and property services via their online form to set up a direct debit for you. You will need to give them information about your ratepayer ID, your account ID, bank account and its sort code, as well as information for which rates bill you want to pay.
You can only set up a Rates NI direct debit:
If you are authorised to set up direct debits on the account
If your name is in the rates bill
If you are authorised to speak to Land and property services about the rates bill.
You can choose to pay your Rates NI bill full with one direct debit payment or in monthly instalments by direct debit.
In some rare cases, Land and property services may ask you further questions before they set up your direct debit.
Rates NI refund
In some cases you may be due a rates (NI) refund, you may be due a refund if you overpaid on your existing NI rates or maybe your personal circumstances changed and you overpaid without knowing. There is no way to apply for a rates NI refund but you should simply inform land and property services that your circumstances have changed and they will look to see if you are eligible for a rates NI refund.
You may be eligible for a rates NI refund if any of the following apply to you:
You paid the full rates at the beginning of the year or early and during the year:
You moved to a different property
You sold your property
You paid more than the rates requested
You were eligible for rates relief
Your property valuation decreased and so did your rates assessment
You could also get a rates refund if you were awaiting a decision about an application for:
Rating of Empty Home exclusions
Reporting a change in circumstances
Housing Benefit and Rate Relief
Disabled Person’s Allowance
Lone Pensioner Allowance
As mentioned before, there is no way to apply for a rates rebate or refund but you simply inform lands and property services of any change in circumstances and they will go on to determine if you are due a refund or not.
You must inform land and property services if your circumstances change, especially if you currently receive rate relief or housing benefits.
If you are eligible for a rates rebate then land and property services will issue you a refund and you will usually get this via cheque to the address where your rates bill was initially sent. If you have moved addresses since you informed land and property services of a change of circumstances then inform them of your new address and they will send your cheque there.
You can usually report a change of home address through the online account.
You can also ask Land and property services to transfer the amount they owe you to the rates bill for your new address. You can also do this online.
If you need more information about getting a refund, contact LPS:
telephone 0300 200 7801
In this brief blog, we discussed Rates NI. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.