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

Council tax FAQs

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Council tax


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Questions
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?|
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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?|

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Q
When do I have to pay my council tax?
A
Council tax is usually payable over 10 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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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

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