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Council Tax reminder notice

If you have received a reminder, you have not paid your council tax instalment on or before the day it is due as detailed on your council tax bill. For more information

We are currently experiencing a large volume of calls and emails about the council tax ‘energy’ rebate scheme which is slowing down the processing of these payments.

As of 11 August 2022 Portsmouth City Council have distributed about 98.2% of the £150.00 rebate payments to just under 78,500 households. Read more.

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Every household in Portsmouth has a responsibility to pay Council Tax.

Anyone in the property over the age of 18, whether single or multiple occupants, are responsible for paying and advising us of changes in circumstances, including moving home, or requesting a discount or exemption.

A Council Tax bill is issued once a year (even if you plan to pay monthly) and also anytime you notify us of a change of circumstances.

There is further information available:

How to pay your council tax bill

View the ‘how to pay your Council Tax’ page for information about paying by direct debit, online and over the phone.

How much do I have to pay?

Council Tax reminder

If you receive a reminder, you have not paid your council tax instalment on or before the day it is due as detailed on your council tax bill.

The reminder notice will advise you of the amount that is due. If we do not receive this payment by the due date as stated on the reminder, after a further seven days you will lose your right to pay by instalments and a summons will be issued for the entire year’s bill without any further notice.

If you are not in a position to make the payment and you need further support due to a low income, you may be entitled to council tax support. Details regarding this scheme and an online application are available on Council Tax Support Scheme.

If you require assistance, please contact the local taxation team by email where possible for further advice and support.

We encourage all of our customers to contact us by email, as our telephone lines are often very busy. Please provide as much information regarding your circumstances, including any repayment proposal you would like us to consider.

If your circumstances have changed there are various online forms to enable you to report this.

Please note you will receive an acknowledgment email confirming receipt of an email or online form and no further action will occur whilst you are awaiting a response or updated council tax bill from the local taxation team.

Details regarding further money advise is also available on our money advice page.

Council tax 'energy' rebate from April 2022

So far, we have made awards to most eligible direct debit payers. To guard against fraud, we are making every attempt to make payment by electronic means. If you have not yet received a council tax rebate and believe that you are eligible, please contact us on 023 9261 6708 before the end of August 2022.

  • In February 2022 the government announced support to help with rising energy costs. This included a one-off £150.00 payment to households to help people to manage the cost of living
  • The government announced that most people in council tax bands A-D, where the property is their main residence, will be eligible for this £150.00 council tax ‘energy’ rebate.
  • The £150.00 council tax ‘energy’ rebate operates outside of the council tax system, but uses council tax records to identify eligible households.
  • Subject to pre-payment checks, most eligible households who pay their council tax by direct debit started to receive the payment from the end of April 2022. The payment has been paid direct to eligible residents’ bank accounts.
  • If you do not pay by direct debit, you may wish to set one up, as payments for people that do not pay by direct debit could take longer.
  • If you do not pay by direct debit, or if the direct debit is paid from an account of a third party, or if the bank account details we hold for you do not match your name on your council tax bill, we will contact you by letter to invite you to provide information to us which will help us verify your eligibility for the payment. We will be contacting residents throughout May and June 2022 to collect the information needed to process this payment.
  • Portsmouth City Council began issuing payments from the end of April 2022 to direct debit payers. From the beginning of May 2022 payments have also been paid to non-direct debit payers. Government expects all council tax ‘energy’ rebate payments to be issued by the end of September 2022, but we will do our very best to finish before then.
  • If you do not pay your Council tax by direct debit or the bank details we hold do not match the name on your council tax bill, you will be required to complete an application form. This enables us to gather the details necessary to make the £150.00 payment. It may take longer to process these payments as we are required to undertake checks before making a payment of the rebate. We are working hard to make payments as quickly as we can. However, we may contact you to request further evidence to enable your payment to be processed. We are sorry for any delay this may cause, but we must carry out thorough checks to prevent and detect fraud. We will only use your bank details to make your energy rebate payment. Your details will not be stored or processed for any other purpose. Please note payment cannot be made into a business account or a building society account that requires an additional roll or reference number.
  • If you receive a letter inviting you to apply for the £150.00 payment but you do not submit the online form, we will be unable to process your rebate. Please provide your details as soon as you can. If you choose not to respond to the letter this will be followed by a reminder letter encouraging you to complete an application for the rebate. If we still do not receive a response from you providing your bank details, we will automatically credit the £150.00 payment to your council tax account. Payments to council tax accounts will take longer to receive.

This rebate is provided on the understanding that the council tax payer, or the party that would have been if an exemption class N, S, U or W did not apply, is awarded payment based on the scheme’s eligibility conditions, and by accepting the payment, the recipient is confirming their eligibility.

In addition, by accepting this rebate, the recipient understands that the payment is being provided to support all residents of the household.

The Council is aware that in some cases, applicants may be overdrawn and may not be able to gain access to the payment. In these cases, the applicant may apply for protection. This protection is called a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’. First right of appropriation gives you the right to tell your bank or building society how you want the money paid into your account to be used.

National Debtline have a sample letter you can send to your bank or building society.

Where the council has reason to believe that the information we hold about the valuation list, liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022 is inaccurate, we are within our rights to withhold the payment and take reasonable steps to determine the correct information.

Where records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022 are retrospectively updated, the council will clawback payments.

Where the property band recorded on a valuation list is amended retrospectively to 1 April 2022, for example because of a successful appeal made to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that concluded after this date, councils are not required to pay or clawback payments. The exception is where a property is a new build and awaiting an official banding from the VOA. In these cases, eligibility will be determined based on the official band subsequently allocated by the VOA, where this has an effective date before or on 1 April 2022.

A council tax rebate fact sheet providing answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the governments website.

Council Tax Energy Rebate Discretionary Fund

The government recognises that local authorities may wish to provide support to other energy bill payers who are not eligible for the £150.00 council tax rebate.

Portsmouth City Council has received a fixed cash limited sum to support the discretionary fund. The discretionary fund application process will be supported by a two-month application window which will run through July and August 2022, following which applications will no longer be accepted.

Award decisions will be made following the closure of the application window, as such decisions will not be notified until September 2022 at the earliest. In accordance with governments guidelines, payments from this discretionary fund are to be made by the end of November 2022, but we will do our very best to finish before then.

Portsmouth’s discretionary scheme will seek to support:

  1. Residents liable for council tax on 1 April 2022 in properties banded E-H, in receipt of local council tax support on the 1 April 2022. Applications are not required from residents who fit these criteria, a £150.00 payment will be automatically provided.
  2. To support residents liable for council tax banded E-H on 1 April 2022 in receipt of Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or any other out of work benefit on 1 April 2022.
  3. Households where the energy payer occupies a property banded A-D on 1 April 2022 that are excluded from payment under the core £150.00 council tax energy rebate scheme.
  4. House in multiple occupation (HMO) households occupying band A-H properties that are excluded from payment under the core £150.00 council tax energy rebate scheme.

Exclusions from Eligibility

The following exclusions exist within this scheme:

  1. Properties in band A-D that are eligible for the core £150.00 council tax energy rebate including band E properties (where a disabled band reduction exists) are excluded from the discretionary fund, with the exception of recipients of local council tax support who may be considered for an additional top-up award (should there be any remaining discretionary funding, once the application window has closed). There is no need for these residents to make another application.
  2. Properties attracting exemption class O (armed forces accommodation) are not eligible for a payment from the discretionary fund.
  3. A property that has no permanent resident and is someone’s second home is not eligible for a payment from the discretionary fund.
  4. An unoccupied property is not eligible for a payment from the discretionary fund.
  5. Discretionary fund payments will not be paid to a local authority or a corporate body.

Award Amounts

Eligible recipients of local council support in bands E-H will receive a payment of £150.00. All other awards from the discretionary fund will be determined following the end of the application window whereby demand can be assessed against available funding. Awards are unlikely to be greater than £150.00 and could be less. Any amounts awarded are non-taxable. Recipients do not need to inform HMRC, and self-employed persons do not need to report the amount on their self-assessment tax returns. As these payments are non-taxable, they do not impact tax credits.

Please note, you should not apply for a discretionary fund payment if you have already received a payment from the core £150.00 council tax energy rebate.

Due to system maintenance on Thursday 25 August 2022, residents may experience difficulty submitting an application. Should you experience difficulty on this date, please try again later. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Apply for the Energy Rebate Discretionary Fund

What to do if you can't pay your Council Tax bill

If you are having difficulties in paying your Council Tax bill, then help could be at hand.

Alternatively, you may be able to set up a special payment arrangement that takes your financial circumstances into consideration.

Contact us to explore which option will be best for you.

If you are in financial difficulty please follow the link for money advice and assistance.

If you think your bill is wrong, or you'd like a copy of your bill

For a copy of your bill complete the online form.

You’re welcome to discuss Council Tax queries informally with us.

However, a formal appeal needs to be made in writing if, for example, you believe you’re not liable to pay a Council Tax bill, or that your property should be exempt or have a discount applied.

We then have two months to reach a decision on a formal appeal, and may ask you for more information to help us decide in that time.

If you haven’t heard from us at the end of two months or you don’t agree with our decision, you can appeal to either the independent Valuation Office Agency, or the Valuation Tribunal Service, depending on the subject of your appeal.

If your appeal is upheld by one of these independent bodies, we will make the necessary change.