Paying your council tax
Your income and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Your income may be affected due to no longer being able to work, working less hours, caring for someone or self-isolation. You may be able to claim sick pay or other benefits to help you.
Council tax is due on or before the instalment date shown on the most recent bill issued. Paying after the instalment date may result in recovery action. To see how this may affect your account visit the Late Payment section below.
How can I change my payment date/number of instalments?
There are four payment dates each month: 5, 13, 20 and 28. You should be able to find one that is convenient.
Instalments are normally calculated over 10 months from April to January in each financial year. You can opt to pay over 12 months, from April to March, instead. The number of months available depends on when in the tax year you are requesting a change.
How can I pay?
There are several ways to pay your council tax. Click on each heading to find out more.
- Direct debit
This is the most efficient way to pay your council tax and can be administered within your self-service account.
You can pay online 24 hours a day, seven days a week using a highly secure link. Payment can be made by debit or credit card. Make sure you have your council tax account reference to hand.
- Bank transfer/standing order
You can contact your bank with our bank details to set this up
HSBC Bank Basingstoke & Deane General Account
Sort code 40 09 18
Account Number 51521691
You MUST quote your account reference , shown on the front of your bill, as your payment reference. Without this your payment cannot be allocated to your account and it will show as unpaid
The automated payment line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 01256 845757. Payment can be made by debit or credit card. Make sure you have your account reference to hand.
- Post Office
Using the bar code shown on your bill you can pay at any Post Office. Please be aware this method takes the longest time, around five days, to reach your account.
Problems paying and late payment
If you are struggling to make payment on time you may want to consider if any of the options below will help:
- Pay by direct debit - this takes away the pressure of remembering to pay each month.
- Change your instalment date - amend the payment date to coincide with when you receive your salary or benefit payment.
- Amend the number of instalments - if your bill is calculated over 10 months you could request it is calculated over 12 months. This will make it cheaper each month. Instalments can only be amended within the financial year they are due. A financial year starts in April and finishes the following March.
- Apply for council tax support - if you are on a low income or claiming universal credit you may be entitled to some help to pay the council tax. This is a means-tested benefit and depends on your personal circumstances.
- Apply for an exemption or discount - certain circumstances may mean you are entitled to an exemption or discount. For example, you are the only adult in the property, all occupants are students, someone uses a wheelchair in the home. Exemptions and discounts are not automatically given, they need to be applied for.
- Financial difficulties - if you are experiencing financial difficulties please visit our dedicated page for further guidance.
If the above options do not apply or will not resolve the issues you are experiencing, please use the information provided to seek a solution.
What happens if I don't pay?
If you don’t make a payment when it is due recovery action can be taken. Click on each stage to find out what the stage means to you and how you can prevent recovery from escalating.
- Reminder (first or second)
A first reminder is issued if you have not paid an instalment by the due date. This could mean that you have not paid any of the instalment or have not paid the whole instalment.
You have seven days to pay the reminder amount. Alternatively, the full years balance can be paid within a further seven days.
A second reminder is issued if you do not pay a subsequent instalment, by the due date, within the same financial year. In some cases, you may receive a second reminder for the same instalment.
What can I do?
Firstly, you must pay the missed instalment within the timescales on the reminder and then continue to pay instalments as they become due . If you are not able to do so:
- Final notice
A final notice is issued if you miss a third instalment within the same financial year or arrears are owed in respect of a previous year.
Under council tax legislation the right to pay by instalments is lost and the balance is due in full within seven days.
At this stage, we may choose to give you one further opportunity to pay by instalments and these will be detailed on the final notice. If you pay in accordance with the new instalments no further recovery action will be taken.
If you do not pay the revised instalments recovery will continue. See the Special Arrangement and Summons stages for further information.
- Special arrangement
A special arrangement can be set up at most recovery stages. Complete and return an income and expenditure form and make an offer of repayment.
Once an arrangement has been agreed instalments must be paid, on or before, the date they are due to avoid further recovery.
- Special arrangement reminder
If you do not pay an instalment or only pay part of an instalment by the due date you will receive a reminder letter.
What can I do?
Firstly, you must pay the missed instalment within the timescales on the reminder and then continue to pay instalments as they become due. If you are not able to do so:
However, if the instalment is not paid the arrangement will be cancelled and the full years balance will become due.
If the arrangement is cancelled your account will progress to the next stage of recovery.
- Summons/liability order hearing
A summons is issued when previous recovery action has not resulted in instalments being maintained or the full balance being paid.
Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions you are unable to attend court in person. The hearing will be held virtually. If you have a valid reason to attend, please read the documentation issued with your summons thoroughly before contacting the council on 01256 844844 to make an appointment
- A Magistrates Court summons will be issued to seek a liability order.
- It is your right to appear, however you do not need to attend the court.
- The council will provide evidence to the court to demonstrate the person(s) listed are liable to pay the council tax for each address and that the balance owed has not been paid.
- Once satisfied with the evidence the Magistrates will grant a liability order confirming the person(s) is liable and the balance is outstanding.
- There are valid defences which could stop the liability order being granted, these are:
- Not properly served or issued with documents.
- Council tax not set properly.
- The debt is being recovered more than six years after it became due.
- The amount has been paid.
- Bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings have commenced, and the debt is included.
- Protection Under Reserve & Aux Forces Act 1951.
- Administration Order in force through the County Court Act 1984.
- Property is not in the area.
- Incorrect charge for band.
- Clerical/computer error in banding.
- Allowance or relief not granted.
- Out of time.
- Breach of natural justice.
- Outstanding appeal against penalty.
- Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 immunity.
- Crown Property.
- Amounts are not charged in accordance with any transitional arrangements.
- Demand notices not served as soon as practicable.
- Incorrect service of summons.
- A liability order allows the council to pursue other forms of recovery including:
- Using an enforcement agent to recover the debt.
- An Attachment to Earnings/Benefit.
- Issue a petition for bankruptcy.
- Apply for a charging order on a property.
- Apply to the Magistrates court for a committal to prison.
- A Magistrates Court summons will be issued to seek a liability order.
- Liability order
After the hearing confirmation of the liability order is issued in the post. You are required to complete an information request form If this is not submitted recovery will continue to the next stage.
You can request a repayment arrangement via your self-service account. For the arrangement to be accepted you would need to ensure the offer will clear the amount due within the financial year. There are exceptions to this, a member of the Revenues team will contact you if your offer is not accepted to discuss the options available.
- Pre-enforcement notice
A pre-enforcement notice is issued if we have not been able to agree a repayment arrangement with you or if a repayment arrangement has not been maintained. It means that your debt is due to be passed to our enforcement agent for collection.
To avoid this action, you can request a repayment arrangement via your self-service account. To be accepted you would need to ensure the offer will clear the amount due within the financial year. There are exceptions to this, a member of the revenues team will contact you if your offer is not accepted to discuss the options available.
- Enforcement agent
If your account has been passed to an enforcement agent you MUST contact them to discuss your account, set up a repayment arrangement, or make a payment. We will NOT be able to intervene.
As soon as your debt has been sent to an enforcement agent you WILL incur additional fees. The first fee of £75 is added as soon as the debt is passed over. To avoid further, more considerable, fees you MUST contact the company to discuss your repayment options.
Telephone: 0330 363 9988
Telephone: 0845 658 5030
Bristow and Sutor
Telephone: 0330 390 2010
Visit Bristow and Sutor website for contact details.
You can do all the following in addition to the above by registering/signing up for an online account:
- Check your outstanding balance
- Register for e-billing
- Change your address
- Change your bank details
- View any outstanding payments
- Claim a credit
If you have an enquiry about council tax, send a message to the Revenues Team.