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 20 May 2022 Portsmouth City Council have distributed about 64.2% of the £150.00 rebate payments to just under 51,000 households. Read more.
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 'energy' rebate from April 2022
So far, we have made awards to just over 97% of eligible direct debit payers. To guard against fraud, we are making every attempt to make payment by electronic means and we are in the process of contacting residents who do not pay by direct debit. Due to the large number of enquiries that we are required to make, we are not contacting everyone at the same time and are currently contacting approximately 4000 households per week to obtain information so that we can perform checks and then make payments. If you have not heard from us yet, there is no need to worry, we will be in touch.
As a result, payments will be made in batches and this may mean family or other Portsmouth City Council residents known to you may receive payments prior to you receiving yours. However, there is no need to contact us, and subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, if you haven’t already been contacted, details on how to obtain your payment will be with you as soon as possible.
- 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.
- There will be a discretionary scheme for those not eligible for the council tax ‘energy’ rebate, we are planning to launch the discretionary fund shortly.
- 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.
Please do not phone or email us about this payment. We will update this web page as soon as we have further information. (Updated 20 May 2022).
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.
- if you live alone, are a student or have certain disabilities then you may be eligible for a discount or exemption
- if you are on a low income then you may be eligible for our Council Tax Support scheme
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.