Council offices manage a variety of services to assure the safety and well being of the residents in their area. From police and fire brigade services to collection and recycling of rubbish to provision of leisure and recreational activities such as parks and community centres and even elderly care.
To contact your local council office is very easy. You may call them or email them regarding any query that you may have. Find your local council here.
If you need to Pay your Council Tax you can simply arrange an online transfer or direct debit by contacting your local council office and informing your bank.
Will The Council Contact Me About Council Tax?
Unless your council tax is due, it requires alterations due to change in your personal circumstances or revaluation of your property or you are to be summoned for council tax arrears, council offices generally do not contact residents other than the time that their council tax bill is sent. This is usually a printed version of the bill that you receive through the post but if you require an e-version, you may request it from your local council office.
Council tax bills are annual taxes that are split across 10 monthly instalments that run from April to January. When you receive the bill in February or March, you will find the annual charges along with a month-wise breakup of the instalments with the due date for payment mentioned against each month. Your first council tax for a new fiscal term will be due in April.
If your council tax payments are being made on time, chances are that there will be no further communication initiated by the local council office; unless an announcement is to be made. However, should you not pay your council tax bill on time, this is when you can expect to be contacted by the local council office.
They usually contact for clearance of council tax dues if you miss the due date and send you a reminder for payment to be made in the next 7 days. In case you do not make payment by then and miss another council tax payment, they will contact you by sending you a second reminder to clear your dues as per the same lead time of 7 days. The next time the council office contacts you will be with a court summons for clearance of council tax debt.
For a detailed understanding of council tax bills and their payment, this article aims to answer the following key questions:
- Will Council Contact Me For Council Tax Renewal?
- Should I Contact Council For Payment Of Bills?
- What Does Your Council Tax Bill Tell You?
- What Is Included In My Council Tax Bill?
- When Does Council Office Contact Residents?
- What Happens If Council Tax Is Not Paid After Council Reminders?
Will Council Contact Me For Council Tax Renewal?
No, the council tax office may not contact you for council tax renewal unless there is a modification to your council tax bill due to an addition/removal of benefits or change in the valuation band assigned to your property.
Council tax bills can renew automatically if you have arranged to pay your bill via the Direct Debit facility. Since council tax bills are paid on monthly basis, you may authorise your bank to pay council tax bills on your behalf directly by transferring the amount from your bank account each month.
Similarly, when the next financial term starts in April, after a council tax holiday in February and March, your payments for the new term will also resume automatically.
If you anticipate any changes in your council tax payments; whether due to an increase/decrease in council tax discounts or a change in your living arrangements or changes to your property, in addition to informing your local council office, you must also inform your bank so that your payments are managed accordingly.
Should I Contact Council For Payment Of Bills?
You can call your local council office in case you have a query regarding the payment of your council tax bills. However, if you only need to make payment, you can simply make an online transfer through your account or arrange a direct debit facility through your bank.
Direct Debit is the most commonly used method of making council tax payments. 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.
However, you can also pay online, call your local council office and use their automated system or make a payment through the post office. You will find details of payment options on the reverse side of your council tax bills, or you may refer to this link Ways to pay your council tax | Ways to pay your council tax | Ealing Council
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; thus, reducing the size of the monthly instalment.
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)
What Is Included In My Council Tax Bill?
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.
When Does Council Office Contact Residents?
If council tax payments are being made on time by residents, there is no need for the local council office to contact residents. However, if an individual misses their council tax payments, they will receive a written reminder from the local authorities to clear these arrears within 7 days.
Should they miss another payment, one more reminder will be sent by the local council. Only 2 reminders are sent per financial year. If defaulters are unable to comply with the final notice they will be required to pay the entire tax amount for the year as one payment.
What Happens If Council Tax Is Not Paid After Council Reminders?
If a resident fails to clear their council tax dues after two reminders from the council office, the local council has the authority to take legal action against defaulters. For this purpose, a “magistrate” or liability officer may be appointed by the local council who will then send a legal notice to the defaulters. The cost of hiring the lawyer and any legal fees that the local council is required to pay will be added to the defaulters’ council tax arrears.
If payments are still not cleared, local councils have the authority to demand the arrears directly from the defaulter’s employers who will deduct the amount from their salary. Furthermore, they may also apply to have the amount deducted from any benefits that the individual is in receipt of. These may include:
- Income support
- Employment allowance
- Support allowance
- Jobseeker’s allowance
- Universal credit
- Pension credit
If the council tax arrears remain unpaid, the local council may send a bailiff to the premises of the defaulters to take possession of their property. The cost of sending a bailiff may be added to the arrears.
If the bailiff is unable to recover sufficient property to cover the arrears, the local council may take the defaulters to court. It is then at the discretion of the court and the evidence provided by the defaulters that may confirm whether (a) they can afford to pay the bills (b) if they have valid reasons for not being able to make payments earlier.
If defaulters do not have valid reasons for not making council tax payments or should they refuse to make payments, they may be sentenced to up to 3 months in prison by the court.
If you don’t hear from your council office for a while, it may be safe to assume that no news is good news; since they generally contact you when your council tax payments are due (or overdue, depending on the situation).
However, if you have a query regarding your council tax bill or any other matter related to housing, you can contact your local council office via phone call or email.
FAQs: Will The Council Contact Me About Council Tax
What Council Tax band am I?
Your council tax band can be any one of the eight bands between A to H assigned by the Valuation Office Agency. Properties valued up to £ 40,000 are assigned the least expensive Band A and the as the values of properties rise, so does their allotted band. The most expensive band is Band H which accounts for properties valued at more than £ 320,000. The allotment of a council tax band will depend upon the market value of your property at a certain point in time.
How to register for Council Tax?
Contact your local council office through email or a phone call and they will assist you in registering council tax.
When do you start paying council tax after buying a house?
Council tax is due upon owners as soon as they move into their new house. Unless your house falls into the category of exempted properties, you will be required to pay council tax as soon as you claim possession of it. If you purchase a house and leave it empty, you may be charged with an empty homes premium after 2 years.
How to cancel Council Tax when moving back in with parents?
To inform of your change in residence, contact your local council office via phone call or email and share your details. In the case of homeownership, the property that you are leaving empty may be considered as a second home; earning you a council tax discount. In the case of a rented property, the landlord or future tenant(s) will be liable for future council tax payments.
When should I pay council tax?
Your annual council tax bill carries details of your monthly instalments and the dates on which each instalment will be due. It is advisable to make sure that you pay your council tax bill before each due date.