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Council Tax Bill further information

Please note: We are aware that customers are experiencing issues accessing the online portals needed to apply for their £150 Council Tax energy rebate. These issues are caused by high levels of online traffic. We have increased the capacity of the portals, but we ask that customers continue to try to access them throughout the day. The portals may also take a few minutes to load in full.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and we thank you for your patience.

Council Tax energy rebate to help with increased home energy costs

On 3 February 2022, the government announced measures to help protect millions of households from rising energy costs in 2022/23.

This includes a rebate, worth £150, for households in England in Council Tax bands A to D. This one-off rebate is non-repayable and is known as the 'Council Tax energy rebate'.

Eligible households will receive a payment of £150 - not an automatic reduction on their bill. There is one payment per household, regardless of the number of occupants or Council Taxpayers named on the bill.

Payments are now well underway. Most households who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit have now been paid their rebate. Direct Debit payers who have not yet been paid are either:

  • new Direct Debit payers. In these cases, we need to wait to call the first Council Tax instalment before we can issue the rebate
  • have an ongoing enquiry (we are writing to these households)

If you don't currently pay your Council Tax via Direct Debit, you will receive a letter from us soon. This letter will invite you to request your rebate by completing an online form. Once you have completed and submitted the form, payment of your rebate will follow. Payments are likely to be made during July.

Once you have received your letter, access the relevant online form (via the links below) to request your rebate:

Request your energy rebate (Council Tax payers in Babergh)
Request your energy rebate (Council Tax payers in Mid Suffolk)

Please do not attempt to complete the online form until you have received your letter.

In the meantime, please be wary of potential scams and do not give out your personal information or bank details in response to texts, emails or phone calls.

You can also access the Council Tax energy rebate leaflet that has been produced by the government.

To qualify for the rebate, the following conditions must have been met on 1 April 2022:

  • The property is valued in council tax bands A–D. This includes property that is valued in band E, but has an alternative valuation band of band D, as a result of the disabled band reduction scheme. Your Council Tax band is shown on your bill. You can also check your Council Tax band online
  • The property is occupied as someone’s only or main home
  • It is a chargeable dwelling, or in exemption classes:
    • N (occupied only by full time students) -please see footnote below*
    • S (occupied only by persons under the age of 18)
    • U (occupied only by persons with a severe mental impairment) or
    • W (an annex to a property occupied by the dependant relative of the person living in the main property)

*Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are not eligible.

A property that meets all the criteria but has a nil Council Tax liability (as a result of Council Tax Reduction) will be eligible.

Properties that have no permanent resident (for example, unoccupied properties or second homes) will not be eligible. In addition, the liable council taxpayer cannot be a local authority, a corporate body or other body (for example, a housing association or the government).

Payment

Payments must be made directly to the council tax bill payer of eligible households; we are required to carry out pre-payment assurance checks to verify that the bank details held match the liable taxpayer named on the council tax records before issuing the payment.

Direct Debit payers

If you already pay your council tax bill by direct debit, you do not need to contact us. We will make the payment to qualifying households as early as possible in the 2022-2023 financial year. This is likely to be after the first payment of your direct debit in late April/May.

Non Direct Debit payers - Apply for your £150 Council Tax energy rebate

Before you apply for your rebate, you will need the letter sent to you by the Council. This letter will contain information that you will need to complete the form with.

Request your energy rebate (Council Tax payers in Babergh)
Request your energy rebate (Council Tax payers in Mid Suffolk)

If you are not registered to pay your council tax by Direct Debit, you can now do this by completing the Direct Debit form

If you don’t currently pay your council tax bill by Direct Debit, we will write to you with details of the process to be followed to receive the payment. This will happen after the initial payments have been made to those who pay by Direct Debit.

Changes in circumstances

As the effective date for the Council Tax Energy Rebate is 1 April 2022, changes made to the council tax band of your home after this date will not be taken into consideration. The exception to this is newly built homes awaiting a valuation band, in these circumstances if the effective date is 1 April or before, a payment can be made provided all the eligibility criteria is met.

Please note that here are a limited number of reasons that you can challenge your council tax band. The government issued guidance on the circumstances a council tax band can be challenged.

Energy Rebate Discretionary fund

The government will provide funding for councils to operate a discretionary fund for households in need who would not otherwise be eligible for a Council Tax Energy Rebate. This could include, for example, individuals on low incomes who live in properties valued in bands E to H.

The Council’s discretionary policy is being developed and we will publish this alongside details of how to apply once the details have been confirmed.

Please do not phone or email us as we will update this website as soon as we have further information.

 

Keep us updated

Remember to report to us any changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to a Council Tax discount, exemption or Council Tax Reduction. The Council can impose a penalty of £70 if you:

  • fail to supply information within 21 days
  • supply false information or
  • fail to report a change

Visit our Council tax section for more information.

Combatting Fraud

This authority is under duty to protect the public funds it administers. It may use the information held on our records for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering funds for these purposes. 

How do we use your information?

When you contact us, we do not disclose any information until we are satisfied you are the individual named on the account. To establish this, you will be asked certain questions to verify your identity. We cannot discuss your account with a third party without your written authority to do so.

Your Council Tax

For details of how Council Tax is calculated, how it is spent, and other information visit our Council Tax section

Council Tax Band

Check your property band with the Valuation Office Agency

Council Tax Reduction

If you are on a low income you could be eligible for help towards your Council Tax costs through Council Tax Reduction (CTR). Use our online calculator to find out if you qualify for CTR.

Discounts and Exemptions

Council Tax Exemptions, discounts and premiums

Empty Properties

You will receive a discount for up to 28 days from the date a property becomes unoccupied and unfurnished. After this, full Council Tax is payable. If your property is unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 2 years, you will have to pay an additional empty homes premium.

Bills are produced based upon the circumstances on the day of processing. A further bill will be issued as circumstances change - for instance, at the expiry of the 28 days discount.

Appeals

You are entitled to appeal if you disagree that you are liable for Council Tax and how much you are liable to pay. Visit our Council Tax Appeals section for more information.

For adult social care authorities 

Council Tax bills show two percentage changes:

  • one for the part of the overall change attributable to the adult social care precept, and
  • one for the part attributable to general expenditure

Read more information about Council Tax from Suffolk County Council 

Paying On Time

Your Council Tax must reach us by the due date. Failure to pay your Council Tax on time may result in you losing the right to pay by instalments. A Court summons will be issued, and additional costs will be incurred. For more information visit our Council Tax reminders webpage

Council Tax payments are collected over 10 months. However, you can arrange to pay your Council Tax over 12 monthly instalments