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Paying council tax or business rates

Paying your bill

The easy way to pay your council tax or non-domestic rates is by direct debit from your bank or building society account. Anyone not already paying by direct debit will have a mandate enclosed with their bill. Simply complete this mandate and return it to the council. We can also set up your direct debit over the phone on 01454 868003 (council tax) or 01454 867700 (business rates). Please have your bank details (account number and sort code) to hand when you call. You can also setup a direct debit by accessing your account online using your reference key.

12 monthly instalments – you can now pay your council tax and business rates by 12 monthly instalments. If you would like to do this please call:

All other methods of payment

Please see the reverse of your bill to find the other methods of paying. Please note that if you do not pay by direct debit the payment must be on your account by the 1st of each month. Failure to make payment in line with the instructions on your bill will result in action being taken against you to secure this charge. This could include costs being added to your account.

Accessing your details online

To access your details online you will need your reference key along with your billing number. Both of these details can be found on the front of your bill. Please use the reference key from your latest bill. You will be able to view account details including payments made, setup or amend direct debit details, request an e-bill rather than a printed copy and update your contact details. This service is available through our website at:

Electronic billing

We can now email your council tax bill or rate demand notice instead of posting them. If you wish to have your bill safely and securely emailed to you please contact the relevant department. Council Tax 01454 868003; or Business Rates 01454 867700 or use the online service (see Accessing your details online) or email counciltax@southglos.gov.uk or businessrates@southglos.gov.uk

Exemptions

Some properties are exempt from council tax; these include properties only occupied by students, people under the age of 18 years, people who are severely mentally impaired or an annexe occupied by a dependent relative.

With effect from 1 April 2013, new legislation introduced by the government abolished the exemption that was available for up to 12 months in respect of an empty property which requires or is undergoing major structural alteration or repair (Class A) and also abolished the exemption that was available for up to six months after a dwelling becomes unoccupied and unfurnished (Class C).

Deciding whether these exemptions should be replaced by a discount is the responsibility of the elected members of the local authority. The elected members of this authority decided that no discount is to be given for empty properties. Therefore, with effect from 1 April 2013, empty properties attract a full charge.

With effect from 1 April 2019, new legislation introduced by the government allows local authorities to charge a 100% premium on council tax for empty properties after two years.  The premium is currently at 50% and will remain so until 31 March 2019.  The elected members of this authority decided on 14 February 2018 to increase the council tax charge on properties empty after two years from 50% to 100%.

Since 1 April 2018, the council has supported care leavers aged between 18 and 25 under their corporate parenting duties by assisting them in the payment of their statutory council tax obligations. From 1 April 2019, this will be administered as an exemption from council tax.  For more details please call (01454) 868418 or visit www.usincare.org.uk.

Do you qualify for a discount?

Council tax is based on the assumption that there are two people living in a property. If a person lives on their own, then council tax can be reduced by 25%. A discount may also be applicable if a resident meets certain criteria including:

  • a full time student
  • in prison
  • a person who is severely mentally impaired
  • a care worker, depending on certain conditions
  • an 18-19 year old school leaver
  • a religious community member
  • a member of visiting forces
  • a long term hospital, nursing home resident who will not be returning home

An annexe (or similar self-contained part of a home) which is occupied as part of the main home or is the main home a relative of the council taxpayer of the main home can qualify for 50% discount.