Council Tax bill: everything you need to know

8 December 2022 by Robin - 8 minutes of reading time

council tax bill 2022

What is my Council Tax bill? How may I pay it? What information can I find on it? Your Council Tax bill tells you everything you need to know about how much of the tax you would need to pay. This Your Benefits article goes through all the necessary information on this topic.

How do I pay my Council Tax Bill?

Your council tax bill tells you a couple of information. This is so that you are able to know everything you can about it. For example, your Council Tax bill informs you of the following:

  • on what dates you must pay your Council Tax
  • how the amount of Council Tax you have to pay was calculated
  • the total yearly amount you will have to pay

In most cases, you will have to pay your yearly Council Tax bill in parts. More specifically, into 10 payments you will have to complete monthly.

You may have troublemaking the monthly payments for your Council Tax bill. You may notify your local council. They are able to make it more doable for you, like by spreading out the bill over 12 months, and not 10.

How does Council Tax work?

Council Tax is a tax based on your home’s value on 1 April 1991. Indeed, its value is then assigned to a valuation band. The bands go from A to H, being from the lowest to the highest home value. Here are the valuation bands for the value of your home:

Council Tax valuation bands in 2022
Valuation band Range of home values
A Up to £40,000
B Over £40,000 to £52,000
C Over £52,000 to £68,000
D Over £68,000 to £88,000
E Over £88,000 to £120,000
F Over £120,000 to £160,000
G Over £160,000 to £320,000
H Over £320,000

It is used to fund local services, by paying your local council. For example, the money that you pay may be used towards things like rubbish collection, maintaining roads, street lamps or street cleaning. 

Council Tax is paid by those located in England, Scotland and Wales. 

How much Council Tax do I need to pay?

How much Council Tax you may need to pay depends on your Council Tax valuation band. The price charged for every valuation band is determined by local councils individually. In other words, the total amount you have to pay is dependent on where you live.

For example, in London, you will have to pay a certain amount if you are in valuation band A for the year 2021/2022. That amount is £699.62. However, you may live in the city of Bristol. In this case, the amount you have to pay for the same valuation band and year is different. Indeed, it would then be £1,442.43.

What months do you not pay Council Tax? There are only two months in the year during which you do not have to pay your Council Tax bill. They are February and March.

How can I pay my Council Tax bill?

The most efficient and common way to pay your Council Tax bill is online. You may also use other methods, like direct debit. Additionally, you may want to pay at a convenience store, a newsagent, or at a bank or post office. You may then pay your Council Tax bill via ‘Quickcards’, ‘Payzone’ or ‘Paypoint’. 

Your Council Tax bill indicates all the payment methods that you are able to use to make your payments.

What happens if you don’t pay Council Tax?

You may get behind with payments. If this is the case, you are in ‘arrears’, as you owe your local council money, and they can take legal action. This is in order to get you to pay any debts you still owe them.

In order to avoid your local council taking the case to court, make sure that you pay your Council Tax bill on time. They can help you, like by spreading your Council Tax yearly payments by an extra 2 more months. 

If you are severely struggling to pay Council Tax, you may be awarded a one-time discount by your local council. Make sure to contact them if you are struggling.

If you are on a low income or receive benefits, you may be able to receive a Council Tax reduction. Additionally, you may be able to reduce your Council Tax bill. This is if you live by yourself, for example.

Will I be notified if I miss payments?

You may miss a payment. If this is the case, you will be notified by your local council. You will receive a letter asking you to make your missed payment within 7 days. If you do not pay the missed payment within the allocated time, you will have to pay the yearly amount. If you then make the payment, but miss another one, you will be notified again by your local council. The third missed payment will prompt your local council to ask you to pay your yearly Council Tax.

In total, you may be notified 2 times about missed payments, but no more. The financial year starts on April 1 of the first year and ends on 31 March of the following year.

What can my local council do legally?How do I pay my Council Tax Bill?

Your local council is able to ask for a legal demand for payments for people that owes them Council Tax. It is called a ‘liability order’. Be careful, this can add their legal costs to the money that you have to pay them. For example, they may be able to add their lawyer costs to your debts. If you wish, you can give your reasoning for not paying to the court. Contact your local council if you receive a liability order. They might still be able to point you towards what you can do next.

Can I appeal my bill?

You can make an appeal to your bill if you believe that the following apply to you:

  • Council Tax should not be charged for your home
  • the bills you receive name the wrong person 
  • you are not charged the correct amount of Council Tax
  • your Council Tax band was not reduced, despite a disabled person living with you

If you wish to go through with the appeal, you may do so by writing to your council. Describe to them why you believe that you are charged a wrong amount for your Council Tax. Then, your local council has 2 months to take one of two decisions:

  • decide that your Council Tax bill is correct and explain why
  • agree that it is not correct and assign you a new amount
Your local council may have agreed with you that the amount you currently pay needs to be changed. However, you have to continue paying that amount until you receive your new Council Tax bill.

What if I refuse to pay Council Tax?What if I refuse to pay Council Tax?

If you do not pay Council Tax for an extended period of time, your local council has some recourse. For example, they may be able to deduct your debts from your wages. They may also be able to deduct it from some of your benefits. They could be able to for the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Diminishing your benefits’ money may mean that you would not be able to make the payments for your other bills. In this case, contact your local council. Even if they disagree, they will typically find arrangements to find something that works for both parties.

Can my local council send bailiffs?

Your local council is able to assign bailiffs to your case. They are also known as ‘enforcement agents’. Indeed, they come in if there seemingly is no more recourse to pay back your debts. In such a case, they will then seize your property. Additionally, the cost of their visits may be added to the total amount of money that you need to pay to your local council. 

Before the bailiffs come to your house in person, they will notify you of how much you need to pay your local council.

What can the courts do?

Your local council can take you to court, in the case that you still do not pay back your debts, even after the bailiff covered some by recovering some of your property. If this is the case, the following will be decided by the court:

  • is making the payments within your means?
  • is your reason for not paying valid?

It may be found that your reason for not paying your Council Tax bill is not valid. Additionally, you may still refuse to pay it. If this is the case, you may be sent to prison for a maximum of 3 months.

Additionally, the courts may rule that you are able to pay your debt back with something else. In this case, you may be given more time to make the payments.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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Your questions
  • graliontorile

    I am lucky that I observed this web blog, exactly the right information that I was looking for! .

    • Robin


      Thanks! I am glad you found this helpful.

      Have a good day,

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