Council tax 2 months non-payments

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Le Chat | 00:19 Fri 02nd Apr 2010 | Business & Finance
29 Answers
Hello. I hope someone here can help.
I pay my council tax by direct debit like alot of people and for the last 10 yrs have had March and April as the 2 months that I do not pay. However, sefton council have decided that they now want to fit in with their financial year and insted of me having these 2 months of non-payment, my next bill starts in April. Therefore, instead of having March/April 'free' I have only had March this year. I have phoned the council and they have said the bill is for the year. Well, technically, I have paid 10 installments for only 11 months of services this year and I will never be able to get that missing month back. I am so annoyed but I do not understand the council and they do not understand me.
I am not the only one 'up in arms' about this.
Any suggestions?


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The annual tax bill is divided by 10 and paid in 10 DD instalments, it's still the same amount of money for the year, so next year you will pay the annual tax bill over 12 payments, it's just you will appear to be paying less a month (unless they made a huge rise) but you will pay the bill 12 times not 10. You only get a month off paying it, you shouldn't get any less services.
I pay for the whole 12 months!
We have always paid our ctax by direct debit, but we have always had Feb and March when we didn't pay. Seems odd that you have not paid previously for April when the new tax year starts, but I guess different councils do different things.
so why do I pay for the whole 12 months?
You say they are changing to the financial year, are they making twelve, monthly deductions now rather than the ten?
cherry are you in arrears ...if not i would phone them up and ask them why as everyone should get the free months
hi cherry, no I am not in arrears. But my council take my payments every month of the year. I never get a 2 month break
i would give them a call and find out why they do this maybe they have it so you are paying less a month but it would be good to find out if this is the case in-case they fluffed up
It doesn't matter whether someone pays ten times a year, twelve times a year or fifty-two times a year, What matters is the total paid in the twelve-month period. If A pays £120 ten times in a year and B pays £100 twelve times in the same year, both have paid the same amount in total. It is just that A appears to be better off by paying ten times rather than the twelve.
cherry, will look at my bill and work it out. in 12 years in this house, I have never had a 2 month break of payments though
Le Chat, Don't forget if you had April free last year and March free this year, you have still only paid 10 months in any one financial year. What you have had in the past are 2 "free" months, one at the beginning and one at the end of each financial year. What you now seem to be getting are 2 "free" months but both occuring at the end of the financial year (tax year) ie Feb and March. As I said before, my 2 free months have always been Feb and March. Please don't take this the wrong way but are you absolutely certain you have had April as a free month before?
Question Author
March and April have always been my 'free' months. I see all your answers and yet I still don't get it. The way I see it, my last year of paying council tax has been 10 installments for an 11 month service.
ie, I paid May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb (No March) April. So I have had only one month off paying, which I will never see again.
I don't get it either how you get March and April off - we have Feb and March off (which we've always thought is so that they can sort out the new d/d amounts for the next financial year starting in April!)
Don't look at the months you haven't paid, look at the TOTAL you have paid from April 2009 to March 2010. As I said, it does not matter how many installments are paid its the amount you have paid by the end of March.
The months you have listed add up to 10 months. The April payment should be the first payment of your new financial years bill. As TLC says, it doesn't really matter whether you pay over 10 months or 12 as long as the end amount for the year is correct.
Question Author
I understand all that but try looking at it like this:
Year 2005 -2006 :- May,June,July,Aug,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan,Feb. No payments March&April.
Year 2006-2007:-May,June,July,Aug,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec
payments March&April.
Year 2007-2008:-May,June,July,August,Sept.Oct,Nov,
payments March&April
Year 2008-2009: May,June,July,Aug,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan,Feb. No payments March&April.
Year 2009-2010: May,June,July,Aug,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan,Feb.No payments March.
Year 2010-2011: April, May, June,July,Aug,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan. No payments Feb&March.
Year 2011-2012: April, May, June, July, Aug,Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan. No payments Feb&March.

So when you look at the above payments I only had one month of not paying, which was March 2010, instead of March & April. I will never get this month back, I am financially down by £180 over the year.
The Council Tax payments would normally cover April one year to March the following year. It seems therefore the Council previously made no deductions for the first month (April) and no deduction for the final month (March.) It now appears they will be making no deductions for the FINAL two months, February and March.

I think the error you are making is assuming that the Council Tax year BEGINS in March but that is when it ENDS. All the council has done is moved the months where no deductions are taken to the end of the year rather than at the start and the end

consider this

April 09 Free
May 09 etc paid
Feb 10 paid
March 09 free

From April 09 to March 10, ten payments will have been made

New Year

April 10 paid
May 10 etc paid
Feb 11 free
March 11 free

From April 10 to March 11, there will have been ten payments made again.
In the year you mention 2009 to 2010, you will see that you did not pay in April 09 or March 2010. There are your 2 "free"months for that financial year. You did not get Apr 2010 as a free month because you had already had Apr "free" in 2009. In all the dates you have given, they all have 10 payments in them. You have not paid 11 payments in any one financial year. TLC is right as regards to all they have done is given you February "free" instead of April, as you will see, you have always had to pay February in previous years. We have always had feb and march as our 2 "free" months which makes more sense as the new c/tax bills arrive in Apr when the new financial year begins
Question Author
I understand that but put it simply. Every 12 months I pay 10 months council tax. This year I am paying 10 months council tax but for 11 months not twelve. Every year I have 2 months 'free'. This year I have only one month 'free' Next year I will have 2 months 'free' again and for the years after. Therefore, I am missing out. Does anyone out there see this at all apart from me???
i think what tou are trying to say is that the months the bill is valid for has changed, or at least it looks like that to you.
ie the date you start to pay now is one month earlier so you think youve paid for that month twice.

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