The council tax phone lines are very busy, so please bear with us.
Our online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and may be quicker and more convenient if you’re able to use them.
You can also sign up to our council tax portal, where you can see your account, check your balance and payments, tell us about changes or set up a direct debit. You will need your reference number from your bill to sign up.
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 able 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 the Council Tax Support Scheme.
If you require assistance, please contact the local taxation team by email firstname.lastname@example.org where possible for further advice and support.
We encourage all 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 advice is also available.
Council tax summons
If you have received a summons, you have not paid the amount of council tax owed, as shown on the bill(s) and reminder notice(s) we have sent you.
1) You have lost the right to pay council tax by instalments
2) We can take further action to recover the outstanding money owed
You have a right to go to the court, however the Magistrate will only hear from you if you have a valid defence against the granting of a liability order. Please note that being unable to pay is not a valid defence. The explanatory notes with your summons explain valid defences.
You do not need to attend the hearing if you do not dispute that you owe the amount shown on the summons and the case will go ahead even if you do not attend the hearing.
If you are intending to go to the hearing, please contact Portsmouth City Council via email email@example.com, where possible, with the reason you disagree with the summons. Please enter into the subject line ‘Summons’ and quote your council tax account number. If you are unable to email, please phone the local taxation team on 023 9268 8588, please be aware the telephone lines will be very busy.
We recognise there will be reasons you haven’t kept up to date with council tax payments and to help you manage the money you owe there will be a payment plan detailed on your summons. The payment plan includes the costs for the summons and liability order. If you accept this payment plan you do not need to contact us.
This arrangement is only for the amount shown on the enclosed summons. If you have a previous payment arrangement for any other money owed, you must continue to pay those as agreed.
We have requested the Magistrates Court to issue the summons against you and will make a formal application for a liability order to be granted. The liability order allows us to use enforcement action to recover the debt without giving you further notice. However, if you make the payments detailed above, we will not enforce the liability order.
The court cannot make any further arrangements for payment with you.
If you are unable to pay the instalments detailed above, enclosed with your summons there is an alternative arrangement questionnaire, you should complete this and return it to the Portsmouth City Council, if able to, this can also be returned via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note to properly assess your offer of payment we need to ask for this information, and you are obliged to provide it. If you pay the amount due in full including the costs ahead of the hearing the liability order will not be granted at the hearing.
If you are not able 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 email@example.com where possible for further advice and support. Please enter into the subject line Summons and quote your council tax account number
We encourage all our customers to contact us by email, as our telephone lines are often very busy. If you are in the process of making an appeal, you must continue to pay your bill during any appeal process, including appeals to the Valuation Tribunal Service.
Free advice and help are available. Local organisations providing debt advice are shown below.
Help with a range of money matters, including debt, benefit entitlements and applications, household bills and budgeting, consumer issues and employment rights:
Phone: 023 9279 4340 text 07789 550593
Citizens advice Portsmouth
Specialist money advisers can advise and support you with all of your bills, budgeting and debt queries and help you maximise your income:
Phone: 023 9400 6600
Your local housing office
City council tenants can get debt advice and help to maximise your income from your housing officer, who has access to specialist money advice.
Switched on Portsmouth
Helping residents to save energy, money and carbon with FREE schemes and initiatives:
Freephone: 0800 260 5907
More help online
Information, guidance and tools to help you with money matters:
Cost of living hub
A guide to the help that’s available for Portsmouth residents.
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.
Council Tax Support Fund
It was announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLHC) on the 23 December 2022, that the government would be making additional funding available for local authorities to support the most vulnerable households in England with their council tax payments.
The government expects local authorities to use the majority of their funding to reduce council tax bills for current working age and pension age Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) claimants by up to £25.
Please be advised that the scheme is currently in development and further updates will follow once the scheme has been approved. In the meantime, government guidance in relation to the Council Tax Support Fund can be found on the governments website.
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.