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We have produced a list of frequently asked questions about your 2013/14 council tax bill. There is additional information on Your Council Tax 2013 / 14
I wish to pay by direct debit, how do I set this up?
Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay your Council Tax. Over 31,000 Council Tax payers in Newark and Sherwood have elected to pay this way. If you choose to pay by direct debit you can choose one of the following payment dates: 1st , 8th, 15th, 21st, or 28th of each month.
Setting up a direct debit is easy, simply telephone us to supply your bank details and our staff will do the rest for you. Alternatively you can download a Council Tax Direct Debit Form (PDF File, 131kb) .
I live alone can I claim a discount?
If you are the only adult (18 years of age or over) living in the household, you can qualify for a 25% discount. To claim the discount you will need to complete an application form. You can either download a Council Tax Single Person Discount Application Form (PDF File, 120kb) or you can contact us on 01636 650000.
I am on a low income can I qualify for a discount?
Council tax benefit entitlement depends on the amount of council tax you pay, your situation and your income and savings. Most job seekers allowance households pay no council tax but you must still make a claim for council tax benefit to our benefits section on 01636 650000.
My bill is wrong how can I get it changed?
If you feel your bill is incorrect you must contact the council tax office and explain why you think your bill is incorrect. We will then advise you accordingly.
I am unable to pay my bill, what should I do?
If you are unable to pay your bill you should contact us straight away for help and advice. We will assess if you are entitled to any reduction and will try to reach an acceptable payment schedule with you.
A property that I own is empty and I live elsewhere, is there any council tax to pay?
If the property is furnished but not occupied no discount will apply. You do not have to pay council tax if the property has been unfurnished and unoccupied for less than four weeks.
The property is only occupied by students, why are you charging the household?
A wholly student household is exempt from council tax. It is possible that suitable proof of student status may not have been provided for one or more of the occupiers. Once we've received this, the account will be amended and the property made exempt.
But if one or more of the occupiers lose their full time student status, for example, if they become employed, then the exemption will end.
A student is a person who is on a full time course at a college or university and is exempt from council tax provided that their course is for at least one academic year, (a minimum of 24 weeks duration) and they receive at least 21 hours tuition each week. A certificate confirming full time status can be obtained from the college.
Students under 20 years old qualify even if they are not on a full time course provided they are not undertaking the course as a result of employment and not an apprentice or youth trainee.
A resident in my household is disabled; can I get a reduction in my council tax?
You can, but the following rules apply. Only people who are liable to pay council tax can apply for a reduction. The disabled person:
A reduction can be granted provided that the property has:
An application form has to be completed. If your application is approved, the council tax will be calculated using the valuation band immediately below the one shown in the valuation list, for example, a house shown in band C will have the amount payable calculated on the basis of band B. In the case of a band A property the charge will be reduced by 1/6th.
My property is in the wrong band, what should I do?
We are not responsible for setting the banding of your home. The banding of your home has been set by the Inland Revenue. If you wish to appeal against the banding of your home you must contact:
Valuation Office Agency
Castle Meadow Road
Telephone 03000 501 501
Disputing the banding of your home does not give you the legal right to withhold payment on your account. You must continue to pay in accordance with the bill you have received.
Council Tax Appeals
Have you been turned down for a council tax discount or exemption, or have you been sent a bill for a house that you think you should not have to pay?
If so, you can make an appeal against our decision.
To do this all you need to do is put your appeal in writing, stating clearly:
a) Your name and address;
b) Your council tax billing number (on your bill);
c) What decision we have taken that you wish to appeal against;
d) Why you believe we were wrong to make that decision.
Send your appeal to:
Newark and Sherwood District Council
If necessary, a further appeal can be made to the Valuation Tribunal, this must be done within 60 days of the decision.
The contact details are:
Doncaster Valuation Tribunal Offices
Unit 2 Trafford Court
Tel: (01302) 342324
Please note, if your appeal is successful entitlement can sometimes be backdated.
For customer comments:
Newark and Sherwood District Council