Help paying your council tax bill
If you are on a low income, whether you are working or not, you may be able to get a council tax reduction.
Please note that you still have to pay your council tax while we are processing applications for discounts, exemptions or reductions.Close
If you are unable to make a payment by the date shown on your council tax bill, you must contact us to discuss your options. We may be able to make a different payment agreement with you or advise you on other help that may be available.
Under no circumstances would we advise you to simply ignore your bill or skip a payment without speaking to us first.
The council has a duty to collect council tax from every resident, so we follow a very rigid process to collect unpaid money. Any missed installment will result in the council taking action to recover the unpaid council tax. The process is as follows:
|First reminder||The first time you miss a payment in the current tax year you will be sent a reminder. You must pay the missed instalment within 7 days to bring your account up to date. If you do not make this payment, we will issue you with a summons to appear in court. You will only receive one reminder for a missed instalment before it goes to court.|
|Second reminder||A second reminder is issued if you miss a second instalment in the current tax year, even if the first missed instalment has now been paid. You must pay the missed instalment within 7 days to bring your account up to date. If you do not make this payment, we will issue you with a summons to appear in court. You will only receive one reminder for a missed instalment before it goes to court.|
A final reminder is issued if you miss a third instalment in the current tax year, even if the first two missed instalments have now been paid.
If you have been issued with a final reminder, we will no longer allow you to pay your council tax in instalments, unless you set up a direct debit.
If you do not pay the entire year’s balance or set up a direct debit within 7 days of receiving the final reminder, we will issue you with a summons to appear in court. You will receive only one reminder for a missed instalment before it goes to court.
|Summons||If any reminder notice is ignored and no payment is made, we will send you a summons to appear in court. When a summons is issued, we will add the additional cost of this to the amount you owe. If you pay the entire year’s balance along with the additional costs, the matter will not go to court. If you make a partial payment or no payment, the matter will go to court on the date shown on your summons.|
|Court||If you ignore a summons and do not pay your account in full, we will ask the court to demand payment from you. This is called a liability order. You do not need to attend court as the case will go ahead without your presence, however if you wish to dispute the case, you are welcome to attend on the date shown on your summons. Once a matter has gone to court, additional costs will be added to the amount you owe to cover the cost of taking you to court.|
Once a magistrate has issued a liability order against you in court, we are then free to take action against you to collect the unpaid council tax.
Our options include:
|Enforcement Afgents||If, after a liability order has been issued, you still fail to pay your council tax bill through one of the methods listed above, your account will be handed over to the enforcement agents to collect the outstanding balance. The enforcement agents operate independently of the council and will add their own costs to the amount you owe.|
Please be aware that this process will be followed for every missed installment without exception, so it is very important that you speak to us as soon as possible when you become aware that you are unable to make a payment.
How much is my council tax?
The amount of council tax you pay depends on which council tax band your property is in. This is based on how much the property was worth on 1 April 1991. New homes built since 1991 are still valued on the basis of what they would have been worth in 1991. Your council tax bill states which band you are in.
Wiltshire Council works with many organisations to deliver around 350 services that are part of everyday life in Wiltshire. Some of these services are provided to every household and they are all accessible to everyone who lives in the county. Council tax helps to pay for these services.
As the billing authority, Wiltshire Council is responsible for collecting council tax on behalf of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, and the town and parish councils. These public sector organisations are facing financial pressures and challenges, and each has the responsibility for setting its share of the council tax.
Wiltshire Council is working with other public sector organisations and continues to look at new and innovative ways to share resources to limit the impact on vital frontline services; particularly for those who are the most vulnerable in our communities. This year we will raise council tax by 2.99% to help fund these vital services.
Adult social care levy
In 2018/19, central government is enabling local authorities with responsibility for adult social care to raise an additional 3% (3% in 2017/18) on their current council tax to be used entirely for adult social care. This flexibility is being offered in recognition of demographic changes, which are leading to growing demand for adult social care.
Wiltshire Council plans to use this levy to meet this demand and ease the increased pressure on adult social care budgets. For more details on the adult social care levy, please see below.
Budget for 2018/19
The Wiltshire Council budget for 2018/19 has been set at £327.746 million, of which £258.450 million is funded by council tax (inclusive of the adult social care levy). In the 2018/19 financial year, a band D household will pay £1,414.57 to Wiltshire Council. A band D household will contribute £72.70 toward the fire and rescue authority (an increase of 2.99% from 2017/18); £182.27 toward the police (an increase of 7.05% from 2017/18); and an average of £108.39 toward the town or parish council (which is an increase of 13.68% from 2017/18) – please note that this will vary depending on where you live. Your bill will show any variation from 2017/18 to one decimal place.Close
Central government requires all councils with adult social care responsibilities to publish the text below on their council tax information webpage. Please note that Wiltshire Council has not yet made any decision about its council tax rates for the years after 2018/19.
“The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)
The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “levy” on its council tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “levy” at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019/2020.”
What is the adult social care levy?
In 2015, central government created the adult social care levy, which allowed councils that provide social care services to adults to increase their share of council tax by up to an extra 2% for 2016/2017. In 2016, they announced that for the three years from 2017/2018 to 2019/2020, councils would be allowed to increase this by up to 3% in any given year, but no more than 6% in total over those years.
The government has said that this levy must be shown as a separate charge on all council tax bills. The income generated from this charge is ring-fenced, meaning it can only be used for adult social care services.
Adult social care services support some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, largely supporting those in old age and adults with disabilities. In 2018/2019 our spending on services for this group is budgeted at £138.688m (42.32% of our total net budget).
How do we ensure this levy is spent on adult social care?
As part of the process of setting our budget, the Chief Finance Officer is required to confirm in writing to the government that we will use the adult social care levy and that the budget for adult social care has increased from what it would otherwise have been by at least the amount raised from this levy.
In 2018/2019, the adult social care precept will raise Wiltshire Council an additional £7.315m. We have anticipated that the costs of growth in the population and of inflationary increases to adult social care service delivery will cost Wiltshire Council an additional £10.132m in 2018/2019.
Wiltshire Council has an obligation to respond to requests from cities, towns and parishes to review electoral arrangements, which includes parish boundaries and the number of councillors.
During 2016/2017, Wiltshire Council, in conjunction with a number of towns and parishes, undertook a review of parish boundaries. A number of boundary changes were agreed by full council following extensive public consultation. These changes take effect from 1 April 2017. See the full results of the community governance review.
Around 25 other parishes and towns will be impacted by the amendments to the boundaries. This may involve only parcels of land; a number of streets or housing estates, or entire parishes. If you are affected by these changes, your new parish or town council should have been in contact explaining the reasons for the boundary changes, which are effective from 1 April 2017. You do not need to do anything; the changes are administered by Wiltshire Council.
These changes may affect your voting arrangements in local elections for your town councillors and may affect your council tax, if your property was included within a boundary change. An element of your council tax is levied by your town or parish council and there may be some differences between the precept levied by your former parish and your new parish. The level of the precept varies, depending on the variety of services and facilities the town or parish provides and the valuation band of your property. The parish precept is levied in addition to the sums paid to Wiltshire Council, the fire and rescue service and the police authority. Information on your council tax charge can be found on your council tax bill.Close
- Band A – up to £40,000
- Band B - £40,001 to £52,000
- Band C - £52,001 to £68,000
- Band D - £68,001 to £88,000
- Band E - £88,001 to £120,000
- Band F - £120,001 to £160,000
- Band G - £160,001 to £320,000
- Band H - £320,001 and above
Find the council tax band for your property. You will need the full address, including postcode.Close
If you think your council tax band is wrong, you can appeal by contacting the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which is responsible for making sure your home is in the right band.
Council Tax West
Valuation Office Agency
You must continue to pay your council tax while any appeal is in progress.Close
As the billing authority, we are responsible for collecting council tax on behalf of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire & Swindon, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority, and the town and parish councils.
The following table details how the council tax payable for each council tax band is calculated. Please note, the average parish/town council tax charge is shown in this table – the actual charge will vary depending on where you live.
|Band||Value of property (1/4/91)||Wiltshire Council||Fire||Police||Average town/parish council precept||Total council tax payable|
|A||Up to £40,000||£943.05||£48.47||£121.51||£72.26||£1,185.29|
|B||£40,000 - £52,000||£1,100.22||£56.54||£141.77||£84.30||£1,382.83|
|C||£52,001 - £68,000||£1,257.40||£64.62||£162.02||£96.35||£1,580.39|
|D||£68,001 - £ 88,000||£1,414.57||£72.70||£182.27||£108.39||£1,777.93|
|E||£88,001 - £120,000||£1,728.92||£88.86||£222.77||£132.48||£2,173.03|
|F||£120,001 - £160,000||£2,043.27||£105.01||£263.28||£156.56||£2,568.12|
|G||£160,001 - £320,000||£2,357.62||£121.17||£303.78||£180.65||£2,963.22|
How to pay your council tax
Council tax bills are sent out at the end of March each year showing the current year’s charges and installments. Your payment must reach your local Wiltshire Council office by the dates shown on your bill. Council tax can be paid over 12 months, rather than the previous 10 months. Please let the council tax office know on 0300 456 0109 should you wish to change to 12 installments.
The council offers various dates for payment by direct debit. This is the most effective way to pay. Please contact us on 0300 4560109 If you wish to change to this method of payment. Alternatively, you can download the council tax direct debit form in the downloads sidebar.Close
Call our automated payment line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 0300 456 0119. You will need to quote your account reference number and confirm the amount you need to pay. Payments made by credit card will be subject to a transaction charge.Close
You may pay, free of charge, by cash or cheque at any post office using your existing payment card or the barcode on the front of your bill. Please allow seven days for your payment to reach the council. Cheque payments should be made payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’ and presented with your payment card or bill.Close
Tell your bank the amount you want to pay, your account reference number, and the council’s bank account details:
Sort code: 40-44-33
Account number: 51460021
Cheques must be made payable to 'Wiltshire Council'. Please provide your name, account reference number, and the address to which the payment relates on the reverse of the cheque.
Please send your payment to:
Collections – Council Tax
PO Box 4385
We offer Dotpost, a billing solution that enables you to access your council tax bill online. Instead of us posting your bill, we will send it to a secure mailbox; this allows you to have paperless bills which is better for the environment.
Dotpost allows you to manage the documents you want to view online, have sent to your smartphone or have printed and posted to your address.
How do I sign up?
On your most recent council tax bill, you will find a 16 digit activation code below your address details. Enter your activation code, along with your postcode, at Dotpost. You can now create your Dotpost profile by entering your details in the boxes provided and following the instructions for setting up an account. Once setup is complete you can use your chosen username and password to login to your Dotpost account.Close
Changes in circumstances
You must contact us if your circumstances change.
It is important to inform the council tax team when you move house.
If you move within Wiltshire the council tax band for your new property may be different and we will need to adjust your bill. If you have moved out of Wiltshire, we will close your account and send the final bill to your new address.
Please provide the following details:
- Address of property being sold or where tenancy is ending
- Date property sold or tenancy ended
- Landlord's name and address if property was rented
- Full names of new owners
- New address being purchased or rented by you
- Date new property purchased or tenancy start date (if different from above)
- Landlord's name and address of new property, if rented
- Your email address and telephone number
If you still live in the same property but someone else aged 18 or over has left, this may have an effect on your bill. Please let us know about any change in circumstances as quickly as possible to ensure you are paying the correct rate for your household.Close
When someone has died, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can adjust the council tax bill.
We now offer a Tell Us Once service, which enables you to tell multiple government agencies about a death at the same time. Tell Us Once is now an optional part of the death registration and you will be offered the service when you book to see the Registrar. If you take up Tell Us Once, you will not need to contact the council tax or benefits services; this will be done for you.
If you decide not to take up Tell Us Once and choose to contact us direct yourself, we will need to know:
- Date of death
- Details of any remaining occupiers
- Executor’s/solicitor's name and address
- Tenancy end date
- Owner/agent’s name and address
- Details about whether the property was a furnished or unfurnished let
- If unfurnished, the date the furniture was removed
- Details about whether the property is still furnished, or if unfurnished, when the furniture was removed
- The intentions for the property i.e. sell/let etc
- Are there any joint owners? If so, we will need their names and contact details
- Notification of when probate was granted
- Date property transferred ownership and names of new owners
We appreciate that you may not have all these immediately available. However, it is important that we know a death has occurred and will need a copy of the death certificate when it becomes available. Please contact us.Close
How to appeal your council tax bill
If you think your council tax bill is wrong you can appeal. Make sure you keep paying the bill while any appeal is in progress.
Each property is put into a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), not Wiltshire Council. The band is based on the property’s value in 1991. If you think your council tax band is wrong, you must contact the VOA office directly to make an appeal.
If your appeal for re-banding is successful and your property is put in a lower band, you will be entitled to a refund for any excess amount you have paid, back to the date it was first banded. If your appeal results in your property being banded higher, you will be expected to pay the higher rate of council tax from that point onwards.
Please read the VOA’s information regarding how a banding is set to carefully consider your appeal. If your property is re-banded following an appeal, the VOA will notify us directly of the change.Close
If you feel that an error has been made on your council tax bill, you can appeal it with us. We can only issue bills on the information we have been provided; it is your responsibility to keep us up-to-date when there are changes to your household that might result in an increase or reduction on your bill. You will need to inform us if:
- You are no longer living in the property
- You are no longer the owner of an empty property
- You think you entitled to a reduction or exemption
All appeals must be made in writing to Wiltshire Council. If you are successful, a refund will be issued where applicable.
If your appeal to us is unsuccessful and you want to take it further, seek independent advice with the Valuation Tribunal, which offers a free service to all council tax and business rate payers who wish to appeal.Close