Pay your council tax
The Council will send you a council tax bill at the beginning of each financial year (usually mid March) to notify you of the amount you need to pay on a monthly basis.
Payments are due on the first of each month over the first 10 months starting 1st April. You will therefore normally pay between April and the following January each year.
How you can pay
You can pay by the following methods:
- Direct Debit is an easy and effective way for you to manage your payments. This can be organised quickly and simply over the phone on 01476 406510. Alternatively you can complete the Direct Debit mandate form [64kb] and post this to us.
- Online - You can Pay online with a debit or credit card.
- By Telephone - Please call 0845 234 0038 to use our automated payment service to pay by debit or credit card.
- By Post - Please send only cheques, postal orders, money orders (made payable to South Kesteven District Council) to Council Tax, South Kesteven District Council, Council Offices, St Peters Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ. Please write you council tax account number on the reverse of the cheque.
- By cash at our offices - We cannot accept any cash payment at our offices
By cash at Allpay outlets - If you would like to pay by cash at one of many Allpay outlets (including Post Offices, shops and petrol stations) then please contact us and we will order you a payment card
When you must pay
Payment of council tax is due in statutory instalments and must be paid on or before the due date. You will receive a letter each year detailing the amounts you must pay and the dates they are due.
If you wish to pay half yearly you may do so, however, as there is no statutory arrangement for this type of payment, you must be careful to make payment in advance of the monthly amounts due on your council tax bill. You should make half yearly payments by paying the first five instalments (April - August) on 1st April and the remaining balance of your account (September - January) on 1st September. In this way your account will never fall into arrears. If you do not do this you will be subject to normal recovery processes.
The law states that the minimum monthly instalment value must be £5. The Government introduced this rule in order to help keep collection costs down. Anyone who has less that £50 a year to pay will therefore be given fewer than the usual 10 instalments. Bills issued after 31st December are legally due for payment within 14 days. We will, however, normally offer an instalment date before the end of the financial year, if possible.
What to do if you think your bill is wrong
If you wish to query your council tax bill or ask for advice about your council tax charge, please contact our Customer Services staff.
There are appeal rights if you consider you are not liable to pay council tax. For example:
- Because you are not the resident or owner
- The property should be exempt
- You think a mistake has been made in calculating your bill
If you are unhappy with the way you have been charged or do not feel you have received a satisfactory answer to a previous enquiry, you should write to us with all the relevant details, so we have the opportunity to reconsider the case. You will receive a written response, giving you the decision made and the reasons for that decision. If you are still unhappy, you can ask for your case to be referred to the council tax ombudsman.
If you leave the area to move elsewhere during the financial year, we will close your council tax account with us on the day you move. As council tax is a daily charge and we pay over the first 10 months of the year, this action could result in a credit balance on your account.
Any monies due to you will be returned by cheque, usually within 10 days of your account being closed. You should contact us to provide accurate details of your move and a forwarding address.
What happens if you don't pay
Remember that paying by direct debit ensures that your payments are made on time every month. You can download a Direct Debit mandate form [64kb].
If you pay late we will send you a reminder or final notice. We normally send only one reminder before taking further action.
Please contact the Council as soon as you realise that you cannot pay your council tax. If we can help or advise you at this stage it may prevent the situation becoming more serious.
We want to work to help you by:
- discussing your circumstances before your arrears become too serious
- giving advice on any welfare or benefits that you might be entitled to
- putting you in touch with other agencies that can offer you support, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, National Debtline and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service
- setting arrangement for you to pay off regular amounts of your arrears
However, if you do not contact us and you do not pay, you may lose your right to pay by instalments and then might be required to pay the full balance outstanding. If you do not pay, you will receive a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court, an incur additional court costs.
If you receive a summons
If you are unable to pay the amount due by the court date we will discuss a manageable payment arrangement with you. This will not stop the court proceedings. However, providing you make the payments as arranged we will not enforce the liability order obtained at Court. The Court proceedings can only be stopped if the amount due is paid in full, including court costs.
If the Court decides you are responsible for paying and you have not paid in full, they can issue a liability order. This enables the Council to take various steps to recover the unpaid Council Tax, including passing it to a bailiff to recover.