Council tax FAQs
Review of empty council tax properties
The council is reviewing empty council tax properties in support of the government's initiative to tackle the national shortfall in affordable housing.
The review is being managed on our behalf by NEC Software Solutions. If your property is selected for review, you will receive a letter asking you to update the property record for your address. You do not need to complete a review unless you are asked to do so.
If you are contacted and have any questions, or if you have lost your letter, please contact NEC Software solutions on 01494 707195.
East Sussex County Council, The Police and Crime Commissioner and East Sussex Fire Authority have increased their charges of the Council Tax Bill for this year by between 4.99% and 6.67%. The Council Tax attributable to East Sussex County Council includes a precept to fund adult social care.
Hastings Borough Council have increased their part of the Council Tax by 2.99%. This means the overall increase on your Council Tax Bill equates to 4.91%.
Your entitlement may be less depending on your circumstances. For more information visit the council tax reduction section of our website.
You can also look at the details of your council tax reduction and what has been used to calculate it on My Hastings. It only takes a couple of minutes to create an account and then link it under the My accounts section. You can then check your details whenever you need to.
No. Your Direct Debit instruction from last year will be carried forward to your new account. You can confirm this by looking at the payment details at the bottom of your bill. This section shows how you have chosen to pay, how much your new instalments will be and the dates they will be taken from your bank account. Set up a My Hastings account so you can check your Direct Debit details on there.
Yes. When you set up a Direct Debit you can choose to pay on the 1st, 15th or 23rd of the month.
Yes. We can arrange weekly payments to clear your account by 1st March 2024. To arrange this, please call the Community Contact Centre on 01424 451081.
Yes, but only if you notify us before the 1 April*. This is to ensure your payments are spread over the 12 months. Your payment plan will then be amended and you will receive 12 monthly instalments for future year's charges unless you ask us to amend your instalments back to the statutory 10 months.
You can notify us by using our enquiry form.
*If you are paying by Direct Debit and your instalments are due to be collected on 1st or 15th of the month, we will not be able to amend your instalments in time to reduce the April one but your remaining instalments will be adjusted over 11 months.
Other options are detailed on the back of your bill. You can pay online or over the phone using our automated payment line: 01424 451081 and press option 1.
You can also pay your bill at a Post Office or PayPoint using the barcode at the bottom of the bill.
You must pay your new bill on the due instalment dates. If you can't afford to pay the arrears as well, it's important to pay your current bill now and call the Community Contact Centre on 01424 451081 about your arrears. We will then do whatever we can to help.
You can find details about reminder notices, final notices, and court summons on our What happens if you don't pay your bill? webpage.
If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction to assist with payment of all/part of your Council Tax bill.
Yes. You can apply for a 25% single person reduction by completing our online claim form.
Yes. The council tax is not a charge for services, it is a tax. The tax system is set by central government and local authorities have no power to change the way it operates. Council tax funds services provided by Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire Authority.
If you are the person liable for the Council Tax Bill, we are required to issue a bill showing the amount due. Your bill shows the amount of Council Tax you are liable to pay, any discounts you have been awarded and any Council Tax Reduction - how it's paid you are entitled to.
You will have received your Annual Bill based on the information that the Council held on your account as at the close of business on 23 February 2023.
If you have notified us of any changes after that date, you will receive an amended bill after 04 April 2023.
No. Your Annual Bill only includes your current year's Council Tax (2023/2024) liability. If you have any unsummoned arrears we can re-divide your instalments to include the arrears. Instalments will be calculated for repayment by March 2024. Please call the Community Contact Centre on 01424 451081 to make the arrangements.
Under Council Tax law persons who are married/partners or have an equal interest in a property can be held jointly or severally (separately) liable for the charges that are due. Therefore, any persons who are named on the bill have a responsibility to ensure that the charges are paid. This potentially means that an individual could be held liable for the whole of the charge.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) values domestic properties for council tax. This valuation is used to set your council tax band. You might need to contact the VOA if you think your council tax band is wrong.
You can find out more about when you can challenge your band and what you need to do at gov.uk/challenge-council-tax-band. If you challenge your band, you must continue to pay council tax at your current band until your appeal is decided.
You can contact the VOA. If you are unable to use the online service you can also contact the VOA on 03000 501 501.
Yes, you can, however your current instalments take into account your credit for last year and once this has been refunded to you your monthly instalments will increase. If you still wish to claim a refund, call us on 01424 451081.
If you qualify for disabled relief your Council Tax Bill will be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown in the valuation list. For example, if your home is in Band 'D', your Council Tax Bill will be reduced to the equivalent of a Band 'C' dwelling.
A list of the monthly instalments are detailed under the 'Total amount due' on your bill.
Your bill explained sets out the details of figures and amounts on your bill. Sign up to My Hastings and you can link your council tax account so you can check your account any time, track payments and see your balance due.
The Council Tax Bill should show what you need to pay with a breakdown of the charge including any changes to your Council Tax Reduction award. Sign up, or login, to My Hastings and link your council tax and benefit claim for council tax reduction to see how your bill and the reduction has been calculated.
Check the bottom of your bill underneath the list of monthly instalments. The most convenient way to pay is to set up a Direct Debit.
We don't issue payment cards but you can use the bar code on the bottom of your bill at any PayPoint machine.
We send out nearly 50,000 bills so they're mailed over a number of days.
If you haven't received your bill by 24th March, please use our enquiry form.
No. The council has the discretion to allow discounts. Properties which are vacant and are undergoing 'major repair work' or 'structural alteration' no longer attract a discount.
This does not affect other exemptions e.g. registered charities, people in care homes, prisoners, student examples, carers. More information is available on our discounts-exemptions page.
The Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill 2018, allowed councils to increase the empty property premiums from 1 April 2019.The increases in the premium charges are intended to encourage owners of long term empty domestic properties to bring them back into use and to increase the amount of Council Tax income raised from those that continue to leave their properties empty.
From 1st April 2021 properties empty for 10 years or more will attract a 300% premium.
See Discounts and exemptions for more information.
Council tax FAQs
- Direct Debit - sign up
- Pay - Council Tax
- View your My Hastings account
- Council Tax enquiry form
- Council tax moving home
Got a question about council tax?01424 451081
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