Website URL : http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=2502

Council tax FAQs

How do you rate this information / service?

What we do with your feedback

Council tax


|
Questions
Q
I am having difficulty paying my council tax. What should I do?|
Q
I am unable to make a council tax payment, what should I do?|
Q
I am unable to pay my next instalment. What will happen next?|
Q
I cannot pay the full amount shown on the reminder notice/final notice. What will happen?|
Q
I cannot pay the full amount shown on the summons. What should I do?|
Q
I cannot pay this month's instalment, what will happen?|
Q
I have already made a payment recently. Can I ignore the reminder?|
Q
I have received a letter from a solicitor threatening bankruptcy action, why?|
Q
Do I have to attend court when I receive my summons?|
Q
How can I avoid being made bankrupt?|
Q
I am on income support/benefit. Why has action been taken against me for non payment of council tax?|
Q
I have received a reminder but my instalment has already been paid?|
Q
If I don't pay my council tax and am made bankrupt - what will happen?|
Q
If I pay my council tax now will the summons still go to court?|
Q
The enforcement agents have called. What is this about?|
Q
The enforcement agents have done something that I am not happy about. What can I do?|
Q
The council is threatening to take committal proceedings against me. What does this mean?|
Q
What costs will I have to pay if I am made bankrupt?|
Q
What is a liability order?|
Q
What is an attachment of earnings?|
Q
Why have you sent me a council tax reminder?|
Q
Why have you sent me a reminder notice as my bill will be paid by the end of March before any instalments for next year become due?|
Q
Why have you sent me a reminder/final notice/summons?|
Q
Why have you sent me a summons?|
Q
Can I reduce my council tax?|
Q
How much reduction will I get if I am entitled to single person discount?|
Q
I do not think I should be liable for the council tax at this property, how do I appeal?|
Q
I have a disability, am I eligible for a reduction?|
Q
I have bought a house and it requires extensive renovation. Am I exempt from council tax while the work is being undertaken?|
Q
I think I should have been granted a disabilities reduction to my council tax. Can I appeal against the decision not to grant one?|
Q
I'm a full time student and live alone - how do I get a reduction in my council tax?|
Q
My partner has left as our relationship has ended. Am I entitled to a reduction/discount?|
Q
My property has been adapted as I have a disabled resident. Will I qualify for a reduction on my council tax?|
Q
Why am I not entitled to the full 6 month unoccupied and unfurnished exemption?|
Q
Are those people, who pay their council tax, subsidising those who don't pay?|
Q
How long does it take for a new property to be banded?|
Q
I am moving home, how do I advise the council tax section?|
Q
I disagree with the valuation band of my property, can I appeal?|
Q
The disabled person no longer lives at the address. What will happen to my council tax?|
Q
I am moving house, how does this affect my council tax?|
Q
I do not have street lights/a proper road/a bus service etc. Can I have a reduction in my council tax?|
Q
I have an appeal lodged with the Valuation Office, why have you summonsed me?|
Q
I have moved out of my old house, which is empty and up for sale, am I still liable for council tax?|
Q
I think my property should be exempt from council tax because it is uninhabitable/empty. How do I appeal?|
Q
If I pay council tax must I be on the voters register?|
Q
Since I bought my house I have been told that the valuation band has increased. How could that happen?|
Q
The council are trying to claim deductions from my income support/job seekers allowance for council tax. What gives them the right to do that and what will happen now?|
Q
What should I do if I have a query regarding my council tax?|
Q
When do I have to pay my council tax?|
Q
Where can I find out what band other properties are in?|
Q
Why are properties valued as at 1st April 1991?|
Q
Why do I have to pay more council tax than my neighbour/friend/relative?|
Q
Why do people, who don't use the services provided by the councils or the police authority, still have to pay the council tax?|
Q
Why is the council tax in Banbury so much higher than for other town and parish councils?|
Q
Am I liable for council tax at my address?|
Q
What if I can't pay my council tax bill?|

||
Q
I am having difficulty paying my council tax. What should I do?
A
Contact customer service without delay to discuss this with them.

||
Q
I am unable to make a council tax payment, what should I do?
A
You should contact customer service immediately as recovery action is due to be taken against you.

||
Q
I am unable to pay my next instalment. What will happen next?
A
When you receive your bill, if you think you will have difficulty in making your payment instalments, we can be contacted to discuss alternative methods for payment.

||
Q
I cannot pay the full amount shown on the reminder notice/final notice. What will happen?
A
Legal proceedings are likely to be taken against you.

||
Q
I cannot pay the full amount shown on the summons. What should I do?
A
You should contact customer service immediately to discuss the matter.

||
Q
I cannot pay this month's instalment, what will happen?
A
Recovery action is likely to be taken.

||
Q
I have already made a payment recently. Can I ignore the reminder?
A
Only if you have already paid the full amount shown on the reminder. If your payment was for anything less you will need to pay the difference otherwise legal proceedings may be taken against you.

||
Q
I have received a letter from a solicitor threatening bankruptcy action, why?
A
We have been unable to collect your council tax arrears and bankruptcy action is the only option left to us.

||
Q
Do I have to attend court when I receive my summons?
A
You may attend court if you wish but if you have an enquiry it is far better to sort it out beforehand.

||
Q
How can I avoid being made bankrupt?
A
You can contact the solicitor's office and make an arrangement to pay the balance or pay the whole amount in full, including any costs.

||
Q
I am on income support/benefit. Why has action been taken against me for non payment of council tax?
A
You need to check that your claim for benefit has been processed. The court case will go ahead pending any application for benefit.

||
Q
I have received a reminder but my instalment has already been paid?
A
If you have paid the full amount shown on the reminder notice and your payment has crossed with the reminder and now been credited to your account, no further action will be taken. If the payment has not been credited to your account you should contact customer service.

||
Q
If I don't pay my council tax and am made bankrupt - what will happen?
A
If you are made bankrupt you may lose your home and any other assets you own. You will also be unable to obtain credit and your credit rating could be affected. An insolvency practitioner will be appointed to deal with your affairs.

||
Q
If I pay my council tax now will the summons still go to court?
A
If you pay the full amount, including costs, before the court date, no further action will be taken.

||
Q
The enforcement agents have called. What is this about?
A
A liability order has been granted against you in the Magistrates' Court and enforcement agents have been instructed to collect the outstanding debt. You must now contact them urgently and make an arrangement to pay off the arrears.

||
Q
The enforcement agents have done something that I am not happy about. What can I do?
A
Contact the enforcement agents' office immediately.

||
Q
The council is threatening to take committal proceedings against me. What does this mean?
A
If the council has been unsuccessful in collecting your council tax using all the usual methods of recovery, it can apply to the Magistrates' Court for your committal to prison for up to 90 days. You will be summonsed to appear at the court for the purpose of a means enquiry.

||
Q
What costs will I have to pay if I am made bankrupt?
A
The costs of being made bankrupt are substantial. You have to pay solicitor's and court fees which are usually well over £500.00

||
Q
What is a liability order?
A
A liability order is an order issued by a Magistrates Court, on the complaint of the council, for non-payment of council tax.

||
Q
What is an attachment of earnings?
A
This is an instruction to your employer to deduct a percentage from your earnings to pay your debts to the council.

||
Q
Why have you sent me a council tax reminder?
A
You have been sent a reminder because you have not paid an instalment when it was due.

||
Q
Why have you sent me a reminder notice as my bill will be paid by the end of March before any instalments for next year become due?
A
Your council tax is payable in monthly instalments on the dates shown on your bill.

||
Q
Why have you sent me a reminder/final notice/summons?
A
A reminder/final notice/summons has been sent to you because you have not paid council tax that is due. The full amount shown on the notice, including any costs, must now be paid to avoid further action being taken.

||
Q
Why have you sent me a summons?
A
A summons has been sent to you because you have not paid council tax that is due. A reminder or final notice will have been sent previously. The full amount shown on the summons, including costs, must now be paid to avoid further action being taken.

||
Q
Can I reduce my council tax?
A
There are various ways in which you are able to reduce your council tax bill. If you are already receiving a reduction, your bill will show this. You must inform us of any change in your circumstances that might affect your entitlement to a council tax reduction.

||
Q
How much reduction will I get if I am entitled to single person discount?
A
We look at how many adults (over the age of 18) live in the property.

||
Q
I do not think I should be liable for the council tax at this property, how do I appeal?
A
You should contact the customer service section who will advise you.

||
Q
I have a disability, am I eligible for a reduction?
A
If you, or anyone in your household, need an adapted room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your property because of a disability, your council tax bill may be reduced.

||
Q
I have bought a house and it requires extensive renovation. Am I exempt from council tax while the work is being undertaken?
A
As the owner of the property you remain liable. However, if the work required is of a structural nature you may be able to apply for an exemption for up to 12 months.

||
Q
I think I should have been granted a disabilities reduction to my council tax. Can I appeal against the decision not to grant one?
A
Information is shown on the letter sent by the billing and collection section when turning down your application. You should contact customer service stating the full grounds for your appeal against a decision they have made. We must reply within 2 months.

||
Q
I'm a full time student and live alone - how do I get a reduction in my council tax?
A
You will need to provide a letter confirming that you live alone, your student certificate and a completed student discount application form.

||
Q
My partner has left as our relationship has ended. Am I entitled to a reduction/discount?
A
Depending on the circumstances, if you are the only adult in the property you may be eligible for a 25% discount from the day your partner left.

||
Q
My property has been adapted as I have a disabled resident. Will I qualify for a reduction on my council tax?
A
A disabled band reduction may apply if you or anyone (adult or child) in your household are disabled and the property has been adapted in order to meet the needs of the disabled person.

||
Q
Why am I not entitled to the full 6 month unoccupied and unfurnished exemption?
A
The previous owner or occupier may have claimed all or part of this exemption.

||
Q
Are those people, who pay their council tax, subsidising those who don't pay?
A
In a way, yes. During the financial year, we aim to collect up to 99% of council tax billed.

||
Q
How long does it take for a new property to be banded?
A
This should normally take place within 3 months.

||
Q
I am moving home, how do I advise the council tax section?
A
Please complete the online form.

||
Q
I disagree with the valuation band of my property, can I appeal?
A
Yes. Contact the Valuation Office at: Valuation Office Agency 4400 Nash Court Oxford Business Park South Garsington Road Oxford OX4 2RU Telephone Tel: 03000 501501 Fax:03000 506365

||
Q
The disabled person no longer lives at the address. What will happen to my council tax?
A
If the disabled person vacates the property, then you must notify customer service.

||
Q
I am moving house, how does this affect my council tax?
A
If you are moving within the Cherwell area you must supply details of both your old and new addresses, completion dates or tenancy start/end dates, and dates of when furniture was moved in or out, if applicable.

||
Q
I do not have street lights/a proper road/a bus service etc. Can I have a reduction in my council tax?
A
No. Council tax is a contribution to local services not a direct payment for services received.

||
Q
I have an appeal lodged with the Valuation Office, why have you summonsed me?
A
You must still make your payments even pending a decision. This cannot be used in court as an excuse for not paying.

||
Q
I have moved out of my old house, which is empty and up for sale, am I still liable for council tax?
A
You are still liable until the property is sold. However, providing the property is vacant and unfurnished you will be entitled to an exemption for up to six months.

||
Q
I think my property should be exempt from council tax because it is uninhabitable/empty. How do I appeal?
A
If you have not already told the billing and collection section, they must be notified. If the billing and collection section have already refused an exemption, you should write to them stating the full grounds for your appeal against their decision.

||
Q
If I pay council tax must I be on the voters register?
A
No, the council tax list is independent of the voter's register.

||
Q
Since I bought my house I have been told that the valuation band has increased. How could that happen?
A
If the property has had structural alterations since it was last banded it can be re-banded upon change of ownership. Alternatively, if it was originally valued incorrectly, this may have been put right.

||
Q
The council are trying to claim deductions from my income support/job seekers allowance for council tax. What gives them the right to do that and what will happen now?
A
A liability order has been issued against you in the Magistrates' Court and the Department for Social Security/Department for Works and Pensions have now been asked to make deductions from your income support/job seekers allowance.

||
Q
What should I do if I have a query regarding my council tax?
A
Contact customer service.

||
Q
When do I have to pay my council tax?
A
Council tax is payable over 12 monthly instalments. Payments should be made on or before the instalment dates, which are currently 1st of the month. People paying by direct debit also have the option to pay on the 9th, 18th or 25th of the month.

||
Q
Where can I find out what band other properties are in?
A
Bands for all properties can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website.

||
Q
Why are properties valued as at 1st April 1991?
A
All properties are assessed as at 1st April 1991 so that property banding is not influenced by the fluctuations of values in the property market.

||
Q
Why do I have to pay more council tax than my neighbour/friend/relative?
A
Because of the Data Protection Act we cannot discuss someone else's bill with you. However, there are a number of reasons why you may have different amounts to pay:

||
Q
Why do people, who don't use the services provided by the councils or the police authority, still have to pay the council tax?
A
As with most taxes, the amount to be paid is not based on the services people use but on a legal requirement simply to pay.

||
Q
Why is the council tax in Banbury so much higher than for other town and parish councils?
A
We have limited information on any of the town and parish council's budgets.

||
Q
Am I liable for council tax at my address?
A
To establish who the person is who is liable for the payment of council tax, there is a set 'ranking'. This ranking is set down below:

||
Q
What if I can't pay my council tax bill?
A

Cookie Policy