Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

  • Information about declined payments 

    We are seeing an increase in the number of payments being declined. This is often due to the additional security features the payment card providers are introducing to try to reduce fraudulent payments and protect customers from fraud. Please note, that the council does not have access to any information telling us why your payment was declined. 

    What to do if your payment is declined

    Please contact your card issuer (which may be your bank or credit card provider) and ask them why the payment was declined. They will probably ask you a date and time you tried to make the payment and how much you were trying to pay. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer as to why your payment was declined, asking the following questions may help:

    • Does my card have an upper limit on the amount I can pay for an online transaction?
    • Do you try and contact me if the amount I am trying to pay online is above a certain amount?
    • How are you trying to contact me – do you have my correct contact details?
    • Was the payment declined because I didn’t have enough money in my account? 

    Your card issuer should try and help you so you don’t have future payments declined. 

    Find alternate payment methods


Find out what help is available to pay your Council Tax.

Frequently asked questions

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Any payments made after 25 February will not have been taken into account. If you have made a payment after this date, it will not show on your new Council Tax bill.

If you have a receipt showing that you made a payment after 25 February, you do not need to do anything.

Please note though that if you pay by direct debit, the payment for 10 March will have been taken into account. The payment will not have been taken from your bank account until the due day.

Any changes in circumstances notified to us on or before 25 February may not have been actioned on your bill, and an adjusted bill will be issued to you in due course.

If you’ve recently notified us of a change in circumstances this may not have been actioned yet and a bill will follow in due course. Otherwise, please telephone us on 01246 345497 or 01246 345503 to discuss.

Council tax is usually payable over ten monthly instalments (if the bill is issued for the full financial year); or the number of whole months left in the financial year less one (if issued during the financial year). In other words, the period over which you pay can depend on when your bill was sent to you.

We cannot show weekly or fortnightly instalments on your bill. However, you can make payments whenever you wish as long as each of your instalments is paid in full by the date it is due.

If you pay by direct debit, you have a choice of paying on the 1st, 10th or 20th of each month. Otherwise, your Council Tax instalments are always due on the first day of each month. This means that if you get paid at the end of the month, you should make sure you keep back the money to pay the April instalment from your March wages, for example.

Paying by direct debit gives you more flexibility, but if you pay by any other method, you should make sure that payment is made by the first day of each month.

Council Tax is usually payable over ten monthly instalments (if the bill is issued for the full financial year) or the number of whole months left in the financial year less one (if issued during the financial year).

Customers can request to pay their Council Tax over the whole 12 months of the financial year up to and including March.

We cannot discuss another person's account or individual circumstances, but there are a number of factors which you need to take into account. Another person may:

  • be entitled to Council Tax support
  • live alone and be entitled to a discount
  • have someone living with them who is disregarded as a resident (eg, a student)
  • be living in a property that is in a different Council Tax band

If you wish to query the band your property is in, please contact the Valuation Office Agency on 0300 050 1501.

Check your bill above the list of instalments. If these are to be collected by direct debit it will be stated on your bill. Direct Debit continues from year to year unless it has been cancelled.

If your bill does not state that instalments will be collected by Direct Debit you can set up a Direct Debit online.

Some customers choose to pay by standing order, which should not be confused with Direct Debit. You need to contact your bank to pay by this method and the instruction will need to be renewed or amended each time you receive a new or amended bill.

Last updated on 03 March 2022