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Council Tax FAQs

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If you are liable to pay the Council Tax and are on a low income you may be able to pay less by applying for Council Tax Support.

There are two types of Council Tax Support.

1. Council Tax Support

This is worked out using the income and savings of yourself and your partner (if you have one). How much support you get will depend on this income and savings, your personal circumstances and how much Council Tax you are charged. If you have any other non-liable adults living with you benefit may be reduced. The most Council Tax Support you can get is 100% of your bill.

2. Second Adult Rebate

If you are the only person liable to pay the Council Tax but have other non-liable adults living with you we may be able to use their income and savings to work out your benefit. These 'second adults' must not be dependent on you or pay you rent to live in your home, they cannot be your partner either. How much support you get depends on their income and savings only, your income and savings are ignored. The most Council Tax Support you can get is 25% of your bill. If you are entitled to both types of support the one that gives you the most help will be paid. Any support due to you is credited to your Council Tax account. This will be shown on your Council Tax bill.

Second Adult Rebate is not applicable to working age claimants.

To apply simply contact Revenues on 01623 457400 or visit one of our offices to make an application.

The simple answer is yes, being self-employed does not mean you won't get any Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. Just like paid employment, it is how much you earn that counts.

What does self-employed mean?

Self-employed people are those workers who are not employed under a contract. Typically, they can include trades such as window-cleaners, certain taxi-drivers, painters and decorators, etc.

A person can be self-employed as a sole trader or as part of a business partnership.

What is my Total Income for Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support?

The starting point in the calculation is to work out the total business income for the period in question. This will include all money coming in, business start-up allowances, etc but will not include sums of capital paid into the business.

If you have recently started trading on a self-employed basis, we will ask for an estimate of the likely income and expenses for the business over the first few months trading. This will help us to pay your Benefit sooner rather than having to wait until you have been trading for a few months.

If you have been trading for over 12 months, we will ask for a full years trading figures - normally in the way of a 'profit and loss account'. We may also ask for the most recent tax assessment form received from the Inland Revenue.

Which Expenses are then taken off this Income?

The Benefit / Support rules are similar to the rules operated for tax purposes. Notable differences are that we cannot deduct any sums attributed to expenses such as depreciation, business entertaining, capital repayments on loans or any sum which relates purely or partially to a private expense.

Self-Employed Childminders

Childminders are treated differently. Instead of working out what their actual expenses are, two thirds of their total income is disregarded. The remaining third becomes their 'business income' for Benefit purposes.

Business partnerships

If you are employed in a partnership, the pre-tax profit for the business (i.e. gross income, expenses) is divided equally between the number of partners. If there is a formal agreement in the partnership which governs that profit should be treated differently, then this will take priority.

Tax and National Insurance

We will calculate income tax and National Insurance deductions ourselves based on the net profit figure. These figures may differ from the figures worked out by the Inland Revenue. Half of any private pension contributions are also disregarded.

All of the above are then deducted from your net profit figure to give us the earnings amount to be used when calculating Housing & Council Tax Support.

If you are under pension age and you get either:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income or contributions based)
  • Employment Support Allowance

You can make a claim via the Department of Works and Pensions. If you are pension age, you can get a claim form through the Pension Service. If you do not fall into one of the above groups or would like further information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support please contact us.

Special reductions may be given to properties where one of the residents (adult or child) is disabled and the property has been adapted in some way to meet the needs of that person.

Examples of the alterations are:

  • A room has been provided which is mainly used by and is needed to meet the special needs of the disabled person.
  • An additional bathroom or kitchen has been provided to meet the needs of the disabled person.
  • Sufficient floor space to permit the use of a wheelchair required for meeting the needs of the disabled person.

Minor adaptations, such as handrails, will not qualify.

This reduction takes the form of calculating the bill as if the property had been placed in the band immediately below the one shown in the valuation list. Homes in a band A can also get a reduction.

If your home has any special internal features which have been added for a disabled resident which reduces the home's value and you do not think they have been taken into account in the valuation band to which your home has been assigned you should contact the Listing Officer.

Valuation bands are used to work out how much the tax should be.

  • Each property is valued
  • Properties are then placed into one of eight valuation bands
  • The higher the band the more the tax will be

Your Council Tax demand shows the band of your property. The different bands are based on the value the property would have sold for on 1st April 1991. They are worked out by the Listing Officer, who is separate from the Council. You can appeal if you feel your property has not been valued correctly - please see "Council Tax Appeals" for more information.

Find out more about Council Tax charges for this and previous years

To find out which band your property is in visit the Valuation Office Agency website.

What are my rights?

All taxpayers have the right to pay their Council Tax by monthly instalments. That right may be lost if payments are not made in accordance with the instructions on the bill.

What if I don't pay on time?

If you don't pay your instalments on time we will send you a reminder notice and you will have seven days to bring your payments up to date. If you pay the overdue instalments within seven days you can continue to pay monthly, but if you don't you will lose the right to pay by monthly instalments. The remainder of the year's charge will become due, in full.

What if I pay the overdue instalments but then fall behind again?

The regulations only allow for you to receive two reminder notices in a tax year. If you fall behind for a third time you automatically lose the right to pay monthly.

What happens if I still don't pay?

Reminder notices give you the opportunity to bring your payments up to date and avoid legal recovery action and costs.

Recovery action is part of the council's statutory duty to collect Council Tax. It takes various forms which include direct deductions from pay or benefits.

Is it OK to pay a little late?

Payments are due on or before the date shown on the bill. Late payments are costly for the council since nearly 90% of the average bill is collected on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Police Authority. We have to pay those amounts whether or not we've received sufficient Council Tax payments. If we haven't got enough money in, we have to borrow it.

The costs of making sure that we have sufficient funds to pay our way and continue to provide services to the people of Ashfield falls largely on the Council Taxpayer. Prompt payment helps keep down the cost of Council Tax for everyone.

If I get into payment difficulties can I get help?

Yes - we recognise that people have financial problems from time to time. If you contact us we will deal with each case individually and take account of your circumstances. We will also do our best to make sure that you are claiming all of the discounts and benefits that you are entitled to.

All properties used as someone's home will be subject to the Council Tax. The tax is paid by the person living in the property who has the greatest legal interest.

Usually this is the owner if they live at the property, or the tenant if the owner lives elsewhere.

Additionally the owner will pay tax on the following properties:

  • Properties which are empty
  • Bedsits, Hostels and properties used by more than one household
  • Care Homes and Nursing Homes
  • Properties used by Ministers of Religion

If a demand is sent to you that you think that another person should pay, please contact Revenue Services.

Follow this link, advice on what do do if you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax can be found on this page under the heading "If I get into payment difficulties can I get help?"

 

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