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Council Tax 2023/24

Council Tax Annual Billing

As of 3 March 2023 an overview of council tax accounts was taken, ready for our new year billing procedure. This means that any changes or payments made to your council tax account after 3 March 2023 will not show on your 10 March 2023 council tax bill, which is the bill for the new council tax year, 2023/24.

If you have submitted any change in circumstances in respect of your benefit claim or council tax account, and you have not received an amended bill prior to 3 March 2023, then you will receive a bill and entitlement letters dated 10 March 2023 based on how your claim or account was prior to that change.

We will not be producing any council tax bills or benefit entitlement letters between the period of 3 March 2023 to 17 March 2023. Therefore, any amended claims or accounts will not receive an updated bill or entitlement letters until after 17 March 2023.

Please note, if you have made a council tax payment after 3 March 2023, this will not show on your 10 March 2023 bill. You will need to deduct any payments that you make after this date from the balance for 2022/23 stated in the "memorandum note" towards the bottom of the bill.

Find out more about adult social care and how this affects your bill.

If you receive multiple council tax bills or benefit notifications the correct bill and letters will always be the one with the most recent date. 

Due to the way we do annual billing in February, any changes after this date will not be reflected in your annual bill. However, you will receive amended bills and notifications bringing these changes up to date after 10 March (date of annual bill).

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What can I do if I want an explanation of how my council tax reduction has been calculated?

You can email benefits@ashford.gov.uk and ask for an explanation of how your council tax reduction has been calculated.

+ What do I do if you have calculated my claim incorrectly?

You can email benefits@ashford.gov.uk and giving details of the information that is incorrect, and the council will look at your claim again.

+ What can I do if I disagree with my council tax reduction calculation?

You can email benefits@ashford.gov.uk giving details of why you disagree with the calculation, and the council will look at your claim again.  If your claim remains unchanged and you still disagree with the decision you can appeal. You must send it directly to the Valuation Tribunal. More details on how to appeal can be found on our Appeals webpage.

+ Can I pay my Council Tax over a longer period?

You can request that you pay your Council Tax over 12 monthly instalments rather than 10. We may be able to offer you some lower instalments for a short period until your financial circumstances improve (this will mean any remaining instalments will be higher to catch up). Each situation will be looked at by a member of the revenues team. Email any request to revenues@ashford.gov.uk.

+ Can I pay my Council Tax on a different day each month, ie the day I get paid?

Instalments are due on the first of the month so if you’d like to make payments later in the month, you’d need to pay in advance. For example, if your Council Tax instalment is due 1 April, and you get paid on 25 of the month then you’d need to make your 1 April instalment on 25 March. However, if you need to discuss your individual circumstances, email revenues@ashford.gov.uk.

+ Why has my bill increased when I don’t have access to some of the services provided, such as bin collections, street lighting, Police etc?

Council Tax is a form of taxation for which the monies collected goes towards payment for the services the Authority provide. It is not a direct payment for the services used.

+ When will I receive my bill?

You should receive this after 10 March 2023. If you receive multiple council tax bills, the correct bill will always be the one with the most recent date and will supersede any previous bill which has been sent.

+ I pay by Direct Debit, do I need to set this up again?

Please check your bill where it says how much each instalment is. Your bill will state how you are due to pay. If it tells you that the instalments are collected by Direct Debit you do not need to do anything as we will automatically change your payments to make sure the right amount is taken.

If you do not currently pay by Direct Debit and you would like to, please visit our Council Tax Information page.

+ Do I need a new Allpay card?

No, if you still live at the same address and have the same council tax account number you can continue to use your existing payment card. If, however, you move address or you lose your Allpay card we no longer issue new ones. You will need to use the barcode on the bottom of your Council Tax bill to make a payment.

+ What does 'precept' mean?

In respect of council tax, a 'precept' is a charge collected on behalf of Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council, The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent, the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority and our parish councils.

We collect the council tax on behalf of all these authorities. Please see our Council Tax Information leaflet [pdf] 2266KB. for information about how your council tax is calculated and divided between these authorities.

+ What if I disagree with my council tax bill?

You cannot appeal against the general levels of council tax set by the council each year. However if you disagree with the Council Tax band your property is in, you can appeal to the Valuation Office. If you disagree with the amount of discount or exemption, or council tax reduction you have been awarded, you can also appeal. In the first instance to us and then if you are still not satisfied you can go onto appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. Find out more on our queries and appeals page.

+ Why do I have to pay council tax?

Council tax is used to pay for services such as education, social care, highways and transport, cultural, environmental and planning schemes, refuse collection in your area.

+ What will happen if I do not pay my council tax?

The council tax is a priority bill that must be paid by everyone who is liable. If the council tax is not paid as and when it is due, recovery action will be taken which could mean costs being added to your account. Visit our If You Don't Pay On Time page for more info.

+ Why has the council tax gone up?

Ashford proportion of the Council Tax for an average Band D property has increased by £5.00 (2.8%)(excluding any parish precepts).

The other major preceptor have increased their share of the Council Tax as follows: Kent County Council £43.83 (3.4%), including a 2% for Adult Social Care, Kent Fire has increased by £4.95 (6.01%), and Kent Police by £15.00, (6.57%) all in line with Government Guidance.

+ My property is empty and unfurnished, do I get an exemption?

From April 2013 owners of empty and unfurnished properties may qualify for a 6 week discount, which will apply from the first day the property is empty. The six week period relates to the property. If there is a change of ownership subsequently, the new owner is only entitled to the remaining part of the six week period, as appropriate. If the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished after the six week period has elapsed, the full council tax becomes payable.

Please note, if you have a property that is unoccupied and unfurnished and requires or is undergoing structural alterations or major repair works to make it habitable, you may be able to get a 100% discount on your council tax bill for up to 12 months. Find out more information.

+ My property is empty and unfurnished. Why has my Council Tax bill doubled?

Properties that have been empty and unfurnished for a total period of two years or more will attract a 100% surcharge from 1 April 2019. This effectively means the council tax bill will be double. Once a property has been empty for 5 years, the surcharge is 200%. Once a property has been empty for 10 years the surcharge is 300%. There is more information on our Long Term Empty Premium Charge page.

+ Why do I have to pay some council tax when I am in receipt of benefits?

Council Tax Reduction (CTR) was set up when Council Tax Benefit was abolished in 2013. This was part of the welfare reform changes introduced by the government to support individuals and families who need financial help most and encourage people to get back into work. Since April 2013, working age claimants have not received full payment of Council Tax. Visit our Council Tax Reduction page for more information.

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