Birmingham City Council

Council Tax Enquiries

Overview

Birmingham City Council has a duty to maintain accurate records for billing and collection of Council Tax and Business Rates (National Non-Domestic Rates NNDR).

Essential Information
  • If you’re having problems paying your council tax, please contact us as soon as possible. We are always willing to listen and take your financial circumstances into consideration.

    To make it easier for you to pay, we can sometimes make special arrangements, such as changing how often we ask for payments. We may also ask you to make an immediate payment to help reduce the amount you owe, so please have your credit or debit card details to hand.

    We may be able to reduce the amount of council tax you have to pay. If you’re on a low income you may be eligible for Council Tax Benefit or a discount, depending on how many people live in your household and their circumstances. Please go to how your bill can be reduced for further information.

    If you have other debts besides council tax and want further help and advice please contact our Debt advice team or the National debt line.

    We also offer an Income Maximisation service designed to help you make the most of the money that you have coming in, and to increase it if possible. Debt advice can also be included. To use the service, you will need to book an appointment at a Customer Service Centre.

  • If you think your council tax bill is wrong please tell us as soon as possible so that we can issue an amended bill.

    You can email us at counciltax@birmingham.gov.uk or write to us at Birmingham City Council, Resources Department (Revenues and Benefits), PO Box 5, Birmingham, B4 7AB.

    Please give details of the decisions you do not agree with. We may ask you for more information so we can review our initial decision.

    Remember, you must still keep your payments up to date until your appeal is decided.

    When to appeal

    You can appeal if you think:

    • We have sent the bill to the wrong person
    • Your home should be exempt from council tax or
    • The amount of the bill is incorrect, for example if you think you're entitled to a discount or we haven't reduced the bill for a disability.

    If we agree your bill is wrong, we’ll send you a new one. If we decide it’s correct, we will contact you giving a full explanation.

    We have to make a decision within two months, although you should receive a response sooner than this. If you disagree with our decision, or we have taken longer than two months, you can appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. If you do this, you will need to do it within two months of our decision, or four months from when you first wrote to us if you haven’t had a response.

  • The council does not decide which band your property is in. If you are unhappy with your banding you need to contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and ask them to review it.

    If you cannot reach agreement you may be able to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. For details of the process, please visit their website.


  • You can ask us to reconsider our decision;

    • to hold you liable for council tax, on your own or with someone else

    • not to award a discount or exemption

    • not to award a disabled reduction for your property

    • to issue a completion notice for a new or altered building

    by

    Birmingham City Council

    Resources Directorate (Revenues and Benefits)

    PO Box 5

    Birmingham B4 7AB

    You will need to state clearly what it is you are asking us to reconsider and provide supporting evidence.

    We will respond in writing once we have reviewed our decision. We aim to do this within two months although you should receive a reply much sooner.


    • If we agree your liability is incorrect we will send you a revised bill

    • If we decide our original decision was correct we will provide you with a full written explanation and advise you of your right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal within two months from the date of our response

    If you have not received a reply after two months you can appeal direct to the Valuation Tribunal within a further two months but we would ask that you contact us again first to check that we received your original request.


  • The Valuation Tribunal (VT) will accept your appeal as long as:

    • it is a matter they are allowed by law to consider, ie, related to liability, a discount or exemption, disabled reduction or completion notice, AND

    • we have written to you no more than two months previously confirming our decision and your right of appeal, OR
    • it is more than four months since you made a written request that we reconsider the matter and we have not responded to you in writing

    They cannot make a decision in relation to:

    • any enforcement action taken by the council to collect the outstanding council tax which remains due and payable unless the VT decides the liability is wrong. The council is not obliged to hold action while an appeal proceeds

    • the manner in which the council has handled the matter, for instance the advice that you were given or delays in replying to you

    Once the VT has logged your appeal they will send a notice to you and to us.

    An officer not involved in making the original decision will arrange for your case to be reviewed and will communicate with you to see if the matter can be resolved without a hearing.

    If agreement cannot be reached a hearing date will be set. This does not stop discussions continuing. If the matter is resolved before the hearing you can still withdraw your appeal.

    The Tribunal consists of two or three lay members. Although this is a legal process hearings are relatively informal.

    Most of those making appeals represent themselves. There is usually no need for legal representation, although you may ask someone else to represent you or bring someone with you.


  • We will:

    • Send out accurate council tax bills
    • Collect council tax promptly and efficiently
    • Deal with your enquiries promptly and efficiently
    • Provide clear and up-to-date information
    • Help you understand your rights and obligations
    • Continually improve our standards and services and
    • Give value for money in our services.

    We will also:

    • Tell you what our standards are
    • Provide clear information
    • Ask for your views and
    • Follow up any complaints and provide a formal complaints procedure if you are not satisfied.
  • If You Write To Us

    • If you contact us online, by email or by letter, we aim to respond to all of your queries within 10 working days of receipt.
    • We aim to process claims for discounts and exemptions within 10 days of receiving all the information we need to support your claim.

    Please note that at certain times, particularly immediately after we have issued all of the annual bills in March, we may take a little longer than 10 working days to deal with your enquiry.


    If You Telephone Us

    • We will normally deal with your enquiry straight away or within 10 working days if it’s not possible at the time.
    • We know that some customers have difficulty getting through at very busy times. To address this problem, we’ve employed more staff to take your calls and will be closely monitoring this area


    Collection

    It’s our duty to collect council tax from all taxpayers. We will:

    • Send a bill within 10 working days when all the information is provided
    • Provide a choice of payment dates to suit your needs when you pay by direct debit
    • Make special payment arrangements if you’re having difficulty paying your bill
    • Take prompt recovery action to collect outstanding amounts
    • Chase payment from those who will not pay.

    Our staff are highly trained to deal with your enquiries in a fair and appropriate manner. They will always be courteous, helpful and patient, making every effort to answer any questions you have. In addition, they will:

    • Tell you your rights
    • Explain council tax law
    • Give their name when you ask
    • Provide help in a number of languages.
  • If you contact us, please make sure that you quote your ten-digit account number on your correspondence.

    Email:counciltax@birmingham.gov.uk


    In Writing:
    Birmingham City Council
    Resources department (revenues and benefits)
    PO Box 5
    Birmingham
    B4 7AB.

    Telephone:0121 303 1113 Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (except bank holidays).Please note that for quality and training purposes we may monitor and record your call.

    Text phone:0121 303 1119 For use by customers with hearing difficulties.
    Please note that this service is for registered users only.

    By Personal Visit:

    If you have been unable to resolve your problem online or by telephone you can get further advice from a Customer Service Centre but you will need to book an appointment before your visit.

  • The Valuation Office Agency values every domestic property in England and Wales for council tax purposes.

    Your council tax is based on your home’s value on 1 April 1991. To determine the right band for your home, the valuation office agency takes into account the size, age, character and locality of the property. They then look at what price similar properties sold for on 1 April 1991. Even new homes are valued on the basis of what they would have been worth in 1991.

    From that valuation your property is placed into one of eight valuation bands, A to H. Every financial year, effective from 1 April, we set a charge for each band.

    Council Tax Charges 2014/15

    Band City Council Fire & Rescue Authority Police Authority Total Parish Precept Parish Total
    A
    757.22
    35.91
    69.65
    862.78
    27.84
    890.62
    B
    883.42
    41.90
    81.25
    1,006.57
    32.48
    1,039.05
    C
    1,009.62
    47.88
    92.86
    1,150.36
    37.12
    1,187.48
    D
    1,135.82
    53.87
    104.47
    1,294.16
    41.76
    1,335.92
    E
    1,388.23
    65.84
    127.69
    1,581.76
    51.04
    1,632.80
    F
    1,640.63
    77.81
    150.90
    1,869.34
    60.32
    1,929.66
    G
    1,893.04
    89.78
    174.12
    2,156.94
    69.60
    2,226.54
    H
    2,271.65
    107.73
    208.94
    2,588.32
    83.52
    2,671.84



  • The council can issue a completion notice if it believes a property that is not in the valuation list can be completed within three months.


    If you disagree with the date we have used contact us and we may agree to change it and issue a new notice.

    If we cannot agree a date you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal (VT). For details of the process, please go to their website.

    The VT will accept your appeal as long as:

    • it is a matter they are allowed by law to consider. i.e. related to a completion notice, AND

    • we have written to you no more than two months previously confirming our decision and your right of appeal, OR
    • it is more than four months since you made a written request that we reconsider the matter and we have not responded to you in writing

    They cannot make a decision in relation to:


    • the manner in which the council has handled the matter, for instance the advice that you were given or delays in replying to you

    You may wish to instruct an agent or surveyor to appeal on your behalf but they will charge you.

    The council does not endorse particular companies or individuals but you are advised to deal only with qualified members of the IRRV or RICS.


Frequently Asked Questions
    • In most cases at least one resident is liable to pay. However, it’s the owners of the following types of property who have to pay and not the people who live there:

      • Residential care homes
      • Houses split into different households
      • Religious communities
      • Houses for residential staff
      • Certain properties for religious ministers and
      • Houses for asylum seekers.
Attachments
attached document Council Tax Liability for Owners
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