Council tax information guide

Council tax information relating to the 2020/21 financial year can be found on the leaflet below.

The charges for the 2020/21 financial year, along with information relating to Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council can be found by visiting the  page.

 

 

 

Bereavements 

 

 

 

If a property has been left empty as a result of a bereavement then a full exemption may be applicable.

The criteria for this exemption is as follows:

  • Property has to be solely owned by the deceased or the tenancy has to still be in the name of the deceased, and;
  • Property must have been unoccupied since the date of death, and;
  • Property has to be in the name of the deceased whether that be as the owner, or the person that still holds the tenancy for the property, and;
  • Probate or letters of administration have not yet been granted (once granted the exemption will cease after six months, providing the above criteria is still met)

If the above criteria is not met the property is considered empty for council tax purposes. It will fall into the locally defined discounts category for empty properties which has been set at 0% meaning that a full charge is payable.

To apply for this exemption please complete the class f exemption form

Council tax class F form

Property where an occupier has passed away

  • If a property remains occupied as a result of a bereavement and there is now only one occupier, then a 25% single resident discount may be applicable.

To apply for this discount please go to my council tax.

Single resident discount application form

  • If there remains more than one adult occupier then no discount is applicable.
Payment difficulties

If you are having problems with payment, please contact us so we can discuss your options. If you are on a low income, you may be able to receive Council tax reduction to help towards your bill.

If your bill is not paid:

  • You will be sent a first reminder notice requiring the account be brought up to date, along with any other payments within the next 7 days.
  • If you pay after the first reminder but at a later date do not pay on time, you will be sent a second reminder notice.
  • If the reminder is not paid or you have received a second reminder you will be sent a final notice. The full balance will become due in 7 days. If you are unable to pay in full please contact the taxation office.
  • If you still do not pay, a court summons will be issued. This gives you notice to appear at the magistrates court on a specified date:
  • If you pay the full balance including the Summons costs before the hearing, no further action will be taken.
  • If the balance (including costs) is not paid by the hearing date we will apply for a Liability Order for the amount due. this will incur additional costs.

If you receive a summons and are unable to pay the amount in full by the hearing date then you should make payment in accordance with the payment arrangement detailed with the summons.  The court hearing will still go ahead and a liability order will still be obtained, for which court costs of £50 will be incurred.

Contacting us

Name:
Taxation
Address:
Taxation Section
Chichester District Council
East Pallant House
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1TY
United Kingdom
Telephone:

If payment is still not received:

  • Your account may be passed to an enforcement agent for collection. This will incur additional fees which are outlined as follows:
If payment is not received If payment is not received If payment is not received If payment is not received
Stage                                Fee                            Percentage fee

Compliance

£75

 

Enforcement

£235

7.5% on excess of debts over £1,500

Sale

£110

7.5% on excess of debts over £1,500

The compliance fee of £75 will be payable for each liability order the moment a local authority refers it to the Enforcement Agency.

If the enforcement agent can't collect the council tax the debt will be returned to us to consider other recovery options to collect the outstanding debt. These options include:

  • Serving an attachment of earnings order on your employer instructing them to make deductions from your net wages and send the money to us.
  • Serving an attachment for deductions from Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance if you receive them.
  • Taking committal proceedings against you. A committal notice is sent to you. You must make arrangements to clear the debt, including any costs incurred, or attend a hearing (this includes court and enforcement agent costs). If you fail to do so, you can be committed to prison by the magistrates court.
  • Placing a charging order against a property. This would mean that the council tax debt will be taken from the sale of your property.
Who should pay council tax?

The person liable to pay the bill is normally the person or persons who reside in the dwelling as their main or sole home and who fits the description nearest the top of the following list:

  • residents who have a freehold interest in the property, i.e. owner occupiers
  • residents who have a leasehold interest in the property, i.e. lease holders
  • residents who are statutory or secure tenants, i.e. rent payers
  • residents who have a contractual licence to occupy the property, i.e. occupants of tied cottages
  • residents with no legal interest in the property
  • non-resident owners

A resident is a person 18 years of age or over who lives in the dwelling as their main residence.
People living with a partner are jointly and severally liable, even if only one of them meets the liability rules. In some circumstances, the owner, rather than the resident is the liable person. Examples would be:-

  • properties occupied by more than one household where residents pay separate rent for their own room only
  • care homes, nursing homes and night shelters
  • religious communities (monasteries and convents)
  • properties which are not the owners main home but are occupied by domestic staff
  • homes where a minister of religion lives and works
  • houses provided to asylum seekers

Joint and several liability

Joint and several liability is when more than one person is responsible for paying the council tax at a property. For example there is;

  • more than one owner
  • more than one tenant living in the property, or
  • if the owner or tenant has a partner.

You are the partner of a person if you are husband and wife, living together as husband and wife, civil partners or living together as civil partners.

If you are jointly and severally liable for the council tax, you are personally responsible for paying the whole of the council tax bill and not just your share of it. If you pay what is considered to be your 'share' but the other person does not pay their 'share' you will still be liable to pay the unpaid portion.

Contacting us

Name:
Taxation
Address:
Taxation Section
Chichester District Council
East Pallant House
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1TY
United Kingdom
Telephone:

 

Empty homes review

In support of the government's initiative to tackle the shortfall in national housing Chichester District Council regularly undertake a review of some homes registered as empty. If you have received a letter you can respond by either returning the completed form to the taxation office or you can complete the eform using the link provided.

Empty homes review form

Council tax appeals

You can appeal against your Council Tax, if you:

  • don't think that you are liable (either at all or over a given period of time)
  • disagree with the amount of discount, or
  • believe your property should be exempt.

To make an appeal you need to be the person whose name is on the Council Tax bill.

Your appeal should be made to;

Name:
Taxation
Address:
Taxation Section
Chichester District Council
East Pallant House
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1TY
United Kingdom
Telephone:

The council has two months to let you know its decision, from the date your appeal is received. If your appeal is rejected, or if you do not receive a decision notice within two months, you can appeal directly to the independent Valuation Tribunal Service