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About Council Tax

Council Tax is a tax used in England to partly fund the services provided by local councils. The money raised through Council Tax helps to pay for essential local services such as schools, roads, libraries, rubbish collection, and police and fire services.

Most domestic properties are subject to Council Tax.

One bill is issued per property, whether it's a house, bungalow, flat or maisonette, and whether it's owned or rented.

Each dwelling (such as a house, flat or bungalow) is placed in a Council Tax band according to its value. Valuations are carried out by the Valuation Office, which is part of the Inland Revenue, not the council. Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more are charged at one and a half times the amount of the standard charge (150%).

Valuation was last carried out in 1991, so Council Tax bands are based on what the property was or would have been worth in 1991. Properties and their bands are listed in valuation lists which are publicly available for anybody to look at.

Find out which Council Tax band your home falls in by choosing 'property enquiry' in your Council Tax account.

The Council Tax leaflet 2017-18 gives details of the Council Tax charges for the year, and where the money goes. You can also view the current valuation bands and Council Tax charges for 2017 - 2018 in the table below. These include charges made for services provided by Middlesbrough Council, Cleveland Fire Authority, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, but excludes parish precepts for Nunthorpe or Stainton and Thornton.

View the Fire Authority Council Tax information for 2017-18 and Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Council Tax information for 2017-18.

Adult social care increase

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 'precept' 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 'precept' at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.

Council Tax charges 2017-18

Valuation Range of values Council Tax charge
A Up to and including £40,000 £1,186.63
B £40,001 - £52,000 £1,384.39
C £52,001 - £68,000 £1,582.16
D £68,001 - £88,000 £1,779.94
E £88,001 - £120,000 £2,175.49
F £120,001 - £160,000 £2,571.02
G £160,001 - £320,000 £2,966.57
H More than £320,000 £3,559.88

If you disagree with your Council Tax banding, you may be able to make an appeal. Read more about Council Tax banding appeals on the GOV.UK website. Please note, if you appeal against your band, you must still pay your bill while you're waiting for the appeal to be dealt with.

Payment by Direct Debit

If you'd like to pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, you can set this up online. Select the 'Council Tax Notification' option to set up a Direct Debit. Please remember to have your Council Tax account number and your bank or building society details ready.

Middlesbrough Council has a flexible approach to Direct Debits and offers a range of payment dates to suit individual circumstances.


Online payment - available 24 hours

You can pay your Council Tax online.


Payment by telephone - available 24 hours

If you want to pay your Council Tax by phone please call 01642 726726 at any time and have the following details ready:

  • Your 5 digit invoice number or Council Tax account number
  • Your debit or credit card details
  • The amount you want to pay

Please note, you must remember to keep the unique reference number given to you when you make your Council Tax payment. If your account number ends in 'X', please replace 'X' with the * button on your telephone keypad when entering your account number.

There are also other ways to pay Council Tax, including at the Post Office.

Difficulty paying Council Tax

If you're having difficulty paying your Council Tax, please contact us as soon as possible.

Please tell us if you're moving address.

Please tell us if your circumstances change in any other way. If your circumstances have changed, you may be entitled to a discount or exemption. You can find out more below.

Council Tax bills can be reduced by applying:

  • Discounts
  • A second adult rebate for Council Tax payers of pensionable age
  • Reductions for disabilities
  • Exemptions

Discounts

Full Council Tax is charged where two or more adults live in a property. If only one person lives in a property, a 25% rebate is given. This is called a 'single person discount'. You can apply for single person discount online by choosing Council Tax Notification in your Revenues and Benefits account.

In addition, some people are not counted in the number of adult residents. If, after discounting a person, the number of adult residents is only one, a 25% rebate is given. If all the residents are discounted, a 50% rebate is given.


Annexes

A 50% reduction will apply (in addition to any discounts or levy) for people living in annexes who are relatives of the person liable for Council Tax on the main dwelling and for people who are using an annexe as part of their main residence.


Students and young people

  • 18 or 19 year olds you're claiming child benefit for
  • Students under 20 in further education, on recognised courses (for example, A-level, BTEC)
  • 18 or 19 year olds who left school or college after 30 April, for the period between the end of their course and the following 1 November
  • Full-time students or student nurses
  • Youth training trainees and apprentices
  • Non-British spouses of full-time students

To apply please use the student exemption form.


Elderly and disabled people

  • People who live with and care for a disabled person who is not their spouse, partner or child under 18
  • People living in residential care homes, nursing homes or mental health nursing homes
  • People who are severely mentally impaired and receive certain benefits
  • Long-term patients in hospital

Reductions for disabilities

You may be able to get a reduction in your Council Tax if a disabled person lives at your address and he or she uses a wheelchair indoors, or if the property has:

  • An additional bathroom or kitchen especially for the disabled person
  • Another room used mainly to meet the disabled person's special needs

Severely mentally impaired discount/exemption

A Council Tax bill is based on two adults living in a property. If one of the adults is severely mentally impaired, a 25% discount on Council Tax payments may be awarded. When a person with a severe mental impairment lives in a property on their own, they get an 100% exemption from Council Tax, which means they would have nothing to pay.

The definition of severe mental impairment is:

'Severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent.'

To claim a severe mental impairment discount on Council Tax, a person must have a certificate of severe mental impairment is issued by their GP, and be entitled to one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • ESA/Incapacity Benefit - at a higher long term rate only
  • Attendance Allowance - at a high or lower rate
  • PIP payments - at a higher or lower rate
  • Care Component of Disability Living Allowance - at a higher or middle rate
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance - at one of the four rates payable under disablement benefit or war disablement
  • Unemployment Allowance payable as an increase to Disablement Pension
  • Disability Working Pension
  • Income Support (with the additional condition of paragraph 2 to Income Support General Regulations 1987)

Applying for a severely mentally impaired discount/exemption

To apply for the severe mental impaired discount/exemption, you'll need to download and print a copy of the application form. You'll need to fill in the required sections, and your GP will also need to complete a section of the form.

Once the form is fully completed you'll need to send the form to us online, along with proof that you or the applicant are receiving a qualifying benefit.

If you don't have access to a printer and can't print the form for you and your GP to complete, you can contact us on 01642 726007 and ask for a paper form to be sent to you. You'll still need to complete the form and send back to us.


Others who don't pay Council Tax

  • People in prison (except those in prison for not paying Council Tax or a fine)
  • People staying in certain hostels and night shelters
  • Members of religious communities (such as monks or nuns)
  • Members of visiting forces or international headquarters and defence organisations

Exemptions

Exempt properties: occupied

The following occupied properties are exempt from paying Council Tax, and will be for as long as the property meets the description:

  • Halls of residence for students
  • Property where all the residents are full-time students and/or student nurses
  • UK Armed Forces accommodation
  • Visiting Forces accommodation
  • Property where all the residents are under 18 years old
  • Property where all the residents are severely mentally impaired and would have to pay Council Tax if this exemption did not exist
  • Property where all the residents are diplomats
  • Domestic property which is part of another domestic property, and the person living in it is a dependent relative of a person living in the main property

Exempt properties: unoccupied

The following unoccupied properties are exempt from paying Council Tax, and will be for as long as the property meets the description (unless stated):

  • Property owned, and last occupied, by a registered charity
    This applies for a maximum period of six months.
  • Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is in prison
  • Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is staying long-term in a care home, hostel or hospital
    The exemption will only be awarded where the person does not intend to return.
  • Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax has died, and neither probate nor letters of administration have yet been granted
    This applies until probate / letters of administration have been granted and for six months afterwards (unless someone else becomes the owner).
  • Property unoccupied because the law says nobody is allowed to live in it
  • Property kept vacant for a religious minister to move into
  • Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is living at another address where they are being cared for
  • Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is living at another address where they are caring for someone who is elderly, ill or disabled
  • Property unoccupied because the person who last lived there, and who would normally pay Council Tax, is now a student living elsewhere
  • Property unoccupied because the mortgagee has repossessed it
  • Property unoccupied because it is the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
  • An empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • Unoccupied domestic property which is part of another domestic property, and can't be rented out separately (eg  unoccupied 'granny flats')

Council Tax discount/exemption appeals

If your application for a discount or exemption has been refused, we'll send you a full written explanation.

Before you can appeal you must write to us. If you don't agree with our response, you have two months to appeal the decision.

Appeals must be made in writing, or via the Valuation Tribunal website, to:

The Valuation Tribunal Office
Hepworth House
2 Trafford Court
Doncaster
Yorks
DN1 1PN

Phone: 0300 123 2035


Council Tax Reduction

If you're liable to pay Council Tax, you can apply for Council Tax Reduction. This is available to people on low incomes (including people who work but are on a low wage) to reduce the amount of Council Tax they must pay.

For Council Tax payers of pensionable age, a second adult rebate based on the circumstances of a second adult may be claimed. The second adult cannot be a partner or paying you rent.

You can find claim forms for many of the discounts and exemptions by visiting the all forms and frequently asked questions page. If the form you need isn't there, please contact Revenue Services who will explain what you need to do to make a claim.

General queries or providing information

You can use the online form if you have a query about your Council Tax account or you've been asked to provide information.

You can attach documents to the form as digital images (photos) or scans, and make enquiries which will be sent securely to the council's Revenues Services department.


When do I have to pay my Council Tax?

Your Council Tax is payable in monthly or weekly instalments (depending on how you've chosen to pay). Those instalments will be due as explained on your bill. Payments should be made by that date, to avoid recovery action being taken against you.

Middlesbrough Council has a flexible approach to Direct Debits, and offers a range of Direct Debit dates to suit individual circumstances. You can set up a Direct Debit online through your Revenues and Benefits account.


What if I can't pay my Council Tax even with a discount?

If you're unable to pay the amount of Council Tax due after a discount, please contact us as soon as possible.


How do I return the paper forms that I have completed?

You can scan a copy of your completed forms and upload them to the online form. If you don't have access to a scanner you can take a digital photo of the form and upload it.

Alternatively you can send the paper forms to:

Benefits Services
1st Floor, Middlesbrough House
50 Corporation Road
Middlesbrough
TS1 2YQ


Why have you sent me a reminder/final notice/summons?

By law, the council must send a reminder if your Council Tax payments aren't up-to-date. If you don't bring them up to date within seven days, you'll lose the right to pay by instalments and a final notice will be issued stating that the full balance is due. The council doesn't have to send you a reminder each time you miss an instalment; the law requires us to send a maximum of two to an individual in any financial year. So, if you receive two reminders in the year and after each one you bring your instalments up to date, if you fall behind again you will only be sent a final notice.

Once you've received a final notice, if you don't pay the full amount you'll be sent a summons and will have to pay court costs as well as your Council Tax.

If you receive a summons and don't pay in full before the hearing, the council will apply for a 'liability order'. This gives the council the right to have money deducted from your wages, Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance to repay what you owe, or to use an enforcement agent (bailiff) to obtain your payment.

If you'd like to view details of your charges and payments made you can do this through your Council Tax account.


What if I can't pay the amount on the reminder/final notice/summons?

If you're having difficulty paying, please contact us as soon as possible and we'll try to come to an arrangement for you to make payments based on your income. We can also advise you of ways your Council Tax may be reduced. Please have details of your income and outgoings to hand when you contact us.


You've sent me a summons and I want to make an arrangement to pay it off. Why do I still have to pay the costs?

By law, costs are payable when a summons is issued, and also when a liability order is obtained. An amount of £50 is charged for the cost of a summons, then £15 for the cost of the liability order. Please be aware, these costs have been incurred due to the extra recovery action taken on your account. These cannot be removed and will be payable by you.

Once a summons has been issued, the only way to stop the council from asking for a liability order is to pay the full amount before the hearing. Even when an arrangement is made, the council still has to obtain a liability order. However we won't take any action against you as long as you keep to the arrangement we've made with you. Please note if you default on your arrangement, further recovery action may take place and further costs will be incurred on your account.


Why do I have more Council Tax to pay than my neighbour/friend/relative?

Due to the Data Protection Act 1998, we can't discuss someone else's bill with you. However, there are a number of reasons why you may have different amounts to pay:

  • Your property's band may be higher
  • They may be receiving a discount or a reduction for disabilities
  • They may be getting Council Tax Reduction
  • They may have moved in part way through the financial year so they're not paying for the full year

My Council Tax Reduction has ended

The most common reasons for this are:

  • Your state benefit entitlement has ended, and you've not provided the council with sufficient information and evidence about your new circumstances
  • You no longer qualify for it because your income and/or other circumstances have changed
  • You've not returned a review form which was sent to you, or you've moved house and haven't made an application for your new address

For more information contact Benefit Services. You can also check the status of your Council Tax Reduction and/or housing benefit claim online by choosing 'benefit details' on your Council Tax account. Please note, you'll need to know your online key, which can be found on the front of your most recent bill.


Did you find the information you were looking for?

If you've been unable to find information you were looking for with regards Council Tax, or you have a general enquiry which you can't resolve online, please complete the general enquiry form.

Terms and conditions

Subscribing to the service

Any Middlesbrough Resident account with a valid telephone number attached will be automatically enrolled in to the SMS service, unless otherwise instructed.

Any SMS notifications sent by Middlesbrough Council Tax Service are for the sole purpose of providing you with important information in relation to your account.

Opt out

If at any time you decide you would like to stop receiving alerts, you can opt-out by calling 01642 726007. After doing so you will no longer receive any SMS messages.

How to get help or support

To get help, please call us on 01642 726007.

Privacy and data protection

Read more about privacy and data protection.