Phone system

We are experiencing issues with our phone system which means that we cannot make or receive calls in the usual way.
Work to reinstate the phone system has begun on 29 February and we will continue to work with BT on 1 March.
We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Paying your Council Tax

The easiest way to pay your Council Tax is by direct debit online through your Council Tax account.

Login to your Council Tax account

Register for a Council Tax account

Other ways to pay

There are several ways to pay your Council Tax:

Online

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.

Telephone

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.

When to pay

Council Tax payments are due on the instalment date as shown on your Council Tax bill.

You can change your payment date to 5, 13, 20, or 28 of the month.

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.

Login to your Council Tax account to change your payment date or number of instalments.

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.

What happens if you 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 the instalment date is not right for you, to make the payment on time, consider changing the instalment – change the instalment date
  • Paying by Direct Debit takes the stress out of paying on time – set up a Direct Debit
  • If the amount owed is for the current year debt and you are unable to pay instalments as they fall due you should pay as much as you can each month to reduce the balance. This will not stop recovery action from continuing and a summons for non-payment will be issued. You will be given instalments, at this stage, to pay the balance by the end of the financial year.
  • If the amount owed is for a previous year you can request a repayment arrangement. Any arrangement agreed will be in addition to the instalments required for the current year – request a repayment arrangement


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.

If the amount owed is for the current year debt and you are unable to pay the balance in full you should pay as much as you can to reduce the balance. This will not stop recovery action from continuing and a summons for non-payment will be issued. At this point, you will be given instalments to pay the balance owed, including costs, by the end of the financial year.

If the amount owed is for a previous year you may be able to request a repayment arrangement to clear the balance by the end of the financial year. Any arrangement agreed will be in addition to the instalments required for the current year – request a repayment arrangement

Income and expenditure form and make an offer of repayment

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.

Alternatively, you can request a payment arrangement via your Council Tax account

Once an arrangement has been agreed instalments must be paid, on or before, the date they are due to avoid further recovery. No further arrangement will be considered for the same debt. If the arrangement is not paid further recovery action will be taken.

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 failed. You will be given a further opportunity to pay the balance due, including costs, over the months remaining in the financial year. For example, if the hearing is in April you will be given instalments from April to March. However if the hearing is in January, you will be given instalments from January to March.

Providing you pay in accordance with the new instalment plan no further recovery action will be taken. If you do not pay as requested the arrangement will be cancelled and this will result in further recovery being taken.

  • 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. Please ensure you read all information sent with the summons before you consider attending the hearing.
  • 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.
Liability order

Once the Liability Order has been granted you will receive confirmation of this in the post. If you are paying in accordance with the instalment plan given to you, you do not need to take any further action.

If you are not able to pay you can request a repayment arrangement via your Council Tax 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.

Should you default on an instalment plan or repayment arrangement recovery action will continue. Once the debt has been secured with a Liability Order the council is able to pursue other forms of recovery including:

  • Using an enforcement agent to recover the debt.
  • An Attachment of Earnings/Benefit.
  • Issue a petition for bankruptcy.
  • Apply for a charging order on a property you own.
  • Apply to the Magistrates court for a committal to prison.




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 Council Tax 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.

Excel

Telephone: 0330 363 9988
Email: info@excelenforcement.co.uk

Rundles

Telephone: 0845 658 5030
Email: info@rundles.org.uk

Bristow and Sutor

Telephone: 0330 390 2010
Visit Bristow and Sutor website for contact details.

Attachment of earnings

This is a remedy available once a Liability Order has been obtained. If you default on a repayment arrangement we may decide to ask your employer to deduct payments from your salary to clear the debt owed.

An attachment is normally calculated as a percentage of your earnings. To find out how much could be recovered by this method please view Schedule 4 document.

There is no right of appeal against an attachment of earnings and if one is set up it will remain in place until the debt is paid in full or you leave the employment if this is sooner.

Attachment of benefits

This is a remedy available once a Liability Order has been obtained and only if you are in receipt of certain benefits. If you default on a repayment plan we may decide to ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deduct payments from your benefit to clear the debt owed.

The DWP will notify you of how much money will be deducted.

There is no right of appeal against an attachment of benefit and if one is set up it will remain in place until the debt is paid in full or your entitlement to benefit ends.

Committal to Prison

If council tax remains unpaid and all other previous remedies have been exhausted a summons to the Magistrates court may be issued for you to attend with a view to having you committed to prison. If you fail to attend, at the specified date and time, a warrant can be issued for your arrest.

Petition for Bankruptcy

If council tax remains unpaid and we have identified that you own your home, or have other assets, we will instruct a solicitor to instigate bankruptcy proceedings against you. Your home may be sold as a result of the bankruptcy.

Charging Order

If council tax remains unpaid and we have identified that you own the property a charging order will be requested and a force of sale may be granted by the courts.

Useful links

Citizens Advice

Direct Gov - benefits advice

Money Lifeline (Basingstoke)

Step Change (CCCS)

Payplan

National Debtline

Help us improve our website

If your feedback is about a council service, please get in touch using this form: Contact us

Sign up for email updates

Receive information on council services, news and events by email.

© 2023 Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council