Council Tax frequently asked questions

Be aware of bogus callers

We are aware of bogus callers operating in our district. Please note that we do not charge for Council Tax refunds.

What does my Council Tax pay for?

Council Tax helps to pay for Council services which everyone uses, such as bins and recycling, roads, street lighting, child protection, social care and street cleaning. Read more about what Council Tax is.

How can I pay my bill?

There are several ways of paying your Council Tax bill including:

  • by direct debit
  • over the telephone
  • in person

Read more about how to pay your Council Tax bill.

I pay by direct debit and have received a new bill. Do I need to do anything?

No. We will take payments from your account as shown on the bottom of your bill.

Can I change the date I pay Council Tax?

If you pay by Direct Debit you can choose from these monthly dates: 5th, 10th, 15th or 28th.

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, you can choose to pay on the 5th or 15th of each month.

You can choose to pay your annual Council Tax bill over 10 or 12 monthly instalments.

Change your Direct Debit payment date or number of monthly instalments

Change your payment date or number of monthly instalments (not Direct Debit)

Can I pay my Council Tax bill weekly instead of monthly?

You can ask to pay weekly or fortnightly but we will divide up your payments so that you pay the equivalent of a monthly instalment before the due date.

I am not working. Why have you sent me a Council Tax bill?

All working age people will have to pay some council tax. The Council has a scheme to help people on low income to pay part of their bill.

For more information about how you can get help with your Council Tax bill, please visit our Council Tax Reduction page.

Council Tax for second homes

Any home that is not your main residence is usually charged the full amount of council tax as long as it is fully furnished. Whether you rent or own your properties the same rules will apply.

I am the only adult in the property but I do not get a discount off my Council Tax bill. What should I do?

Apply for single person discount which can reduce your bill by 25%.

My property is empty so why do I have to pay Council Tax?

We normally charge Council Tax for all empty properties. This can include properties that are empty for any length of time, even if it is only for a few days.

If your property has been empty and unfurnished for one year or more, you’ll be charged double the amount of Council Tax that you would normally pay. If it has been empty and unfurnished for five years or more, you’ll be charged triple the normal amount. If your property has been empty and unfurnished for ten years or more, you’ll be charged four times the normal amount of Council Tax.

If you have just purchased a property that has been empty and unfurnished for more than one year, you will still be liable for the empty property charges. If the property is in poor condition and you have started major repairs you may be able to claim a Class A exemption. Please visit our Property exemptions page for more information about Class exemptions.

If you have an empty property and would like advice on bringing it back into use, please contact the Empty Homes Team.

Is there any way I can reduce my Council Tax bill?

This will depend on your circumstances. Please read our information about ways to reduce your Council Tax bill.

I have received a letter called Council Tax Reduction Calculation Summary. What does this tell me?

We have answered some common questions about Council Tax Reduction notices on a separate page.

Parts of my home are used for religious worship – do I still have to pay Council Tax?

We are aware of news articles being shared which suggest that a household may be exempt from Council Tax (i.e. not have to pay) if part of their home is used for religious worship. This is not true, and you must still pay your Council Tax bill. More information about this can be found on the fullfacts website.

I cannot afford to pay my Council Tax. What should I do?

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please visit our behind on your Council Tax payments page, or contact the Council Tax Collection Team straight away on 01274 437792, to discuss making an acceptable arrangement to pay.