Frequently asked questions
also known as: Account enquiries.
This page contains answers to the most common questions that our council tax team are asked.
The Northumberland County Council element of the council tax has
not increased from last year.
However, the police element has gone up by 3.5% and some of the
parish charges have also gone up. Enquiries regarding the amount of
parish precepts should be directed to the relevant parish
Parish and town councils can raise revenue to help meet their
spending requirements by issuing a 'precept'.
This is the total amount to be raised through the council tax
from all the dwellings within the parish area. The 'Precept' is
converted into an amount per council tax band that is added onto
the council tax bill.
The parish or town council notifies Northumberland County
Council of the amount of their precept each year and the council
collects this money on their behalf.
If you would like details of what the money is used for in your
parish please contact the clerk of your parish or town council
If we have received details advising of a change of
circumstances it could be that we have not yet processed it.
We try to complete changes as soon as possible but during busy
periods it can take up to 21 days. Provided that the information
has been received an amended bill will be sent to you in due
Until you receive an amended bill you should pay the instalments
outlined on the most recent bill you have received.
If you cannot afford these payments please
This enables customers to pay their bill free of charge at any
post office or pay point outlet using the barcode on their
Taxpayers have the right to appeal against their council tax
If you think it may be incorrect you need to contact
the Valuation Office. The telephone number is 03000 501501. In
the meantime the amounts shown on your bill are due.
The council tax bills were processed on 3 March 2013 so it could
be that you have made the payment since that date.
If you require confirmation that your payment has been received
by the council please contact customer services on 0845 600
6400 or email email@example.com.
Council tax funds the services provided by Northumberland County
Council, The Police Authority and local parish councils i.e. bins,
fire service, education, social services, grass cutting, highways
You do not need to complete a new form.
Your bill will state the method of payment, if it states direct
debit, payment will automatically be taken.
If it doesn’t state direct debit then you will need to set up a
new payment plan.
Set up a direct debit online
In order to set up your direct debit instruction on-line you
will need to provide the following information through the setting
up procedure. (your cheque book or debit card contains all the bank
details that you will need):
- Bank or building society name
- Bank account number
- Sort code
- Branch address
- Council tax account number (10 digits)
You can also do this on the telephone by ringing the council tax
team on 01670 624884 (Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5.00pm).
Alternatively you can either complete the DD mandate which was
enclosed with your bill or
download a DD mandate from here.
We usually offer 10 instalments from April through to January.
Each instalment is due on the 1st of each month, with the exception
of bills paid by direct debit where payment on the 15th and 28th of
the month are also available. The option to pay by 12 instalments
is now available.
A request for 12 instalments from April 2013 to March 2014
should be made to the Council Tax Section no later than 15
Set up a direct debit online
If you receive a bill during the financial year then we will
offer as many instalments as there are left.
The option to pay over 12 months for council tax and business
rates is now available. For direct debit you can opt to pay on
1st, 15th or 28th of the month.
For CASH payers we can now offer 12 months but only with an
instalment date of 1st of the month. I f you wish to opt
to pay by 12 instalments please contact
us or you can set up an on-line direct debit.
Set up a direct debit on-line
You can do this on the telephone by ringing the council tax team
on 01670 624884 (Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5.00pm) who can
set this up for you.
alternatively you can either complete the DD mandate which was
enclosed with your bill or
download a DD mandate from here
Whilst we don't offer weekly instalments as long as you are in
advance of your instalment plan there's no problem with you paying
You should aim to have each instalment paid by 7th of
each month to avoid a reminder being issued.
Special expenses are applied when Northumberland County Council
provides a service in a parish which is provided in other parishes
by a town or parish council.
The cost of this service has to be met by the council tax payers
of the town or parish where Northumberland County Council is
providing the service so a special expense is charged to the
council tax payers of that parish.
For 2013/14 Northumberland County Council has applied special
expenses to 11 parishes.
Details of the parishes affected by Special Expenses for
It could be that you have signed up for electronic billing or
there is an outstanding change in circumstances to process and your
bill has been referred.
If you have signed up for online billing you will have been sent
an e-mail from a company called Onevu advising you that your bill
is available to view on-line at your website. If you would still
like a paper bill to be sent to you please contact customer
services and they will arrange with the council tax section for one
to be issued.
If you have a holiday home you will have to pay either council
tax or business rates for it. The distinction depends on how many
days per year it is available for let to other people. If
throughout the year it is available for less than 140 days per year
then you will pay council tax for the property as a second
If the property is available for 140 days or more throughout the
year then you will pay business
rates for it.
If you have a bed & breakfast then the decision on whether
council tax or business rates are payable rests with the Valuation
Office. Their decision is based on how many people the bed &
breakfast caters for and whether being a bed & breakfast is the
primary use of the property.
For further information contact us on 0845 600 6400, or visit
If you are moving house you will need to contact the council and
supply information relating to your move, (you may be entitled to a
refund if you are moving out of the Northumberland area).
We will need to know:
- Who you are.
- Where you are moving from
- Where you are moving to
- The date you are moving
- Whether you were / are the tenant or the owner of the
- If you own the property you are leaving / moving into, we need
to know the completion date and names of the new / previous
- If it has not been sold, but you have moved out, we need to
know if it is furnished or unfurnished
- If you have bought the property, but not moved in, we need to
know if it is furnished or unfurnished
- The name and address of your solicitors
- If you did not own the property you are leaving / moving into,
we need to know the name and address of the owner
- The date your tenancy ended / began (if applicable)
- Whether it has been let furnished or unfurnished
- If you are moving out because your home has been repossessed
please make sure you let us know the date the property is being
repossessed and the mortgage lender who is taking it over
Click here to download a change of circumstances form
If any of the above information is not provided it may mean a
delay in processing your change of address.
The easiest way to register a change of address is by phoning
the contact centre on 0845 600 6400. This ensures all council
departments are notified of your change.
A range of discounts are available based on your personal
circumstances. A range of property exemptions are also available.
discounts and exemption page for more information.
Alternatively you can call the contact centre on 0845 600
Second homes no longer qualify for a 10% discount. The 2013/14
annual bills have been issued showing a full charge.
With effect from 1 April 2013 if a property has been unfurnished
and substantially unoccupied for more than 2 years an empty homes
premium may apply, this is an extra 50% charge meaning customers
who are charged a premium will pay the equivalent of 150%
There are no longer class A and class C exemptions. Class A was
where a property required or was undergoing major repair works and
lasted for up to 12 months.
Class C was where a property was unoccupied and unfurnished and
lasted for up to 6 months. If you were getting an exemption which
would have gone beyond 1 April 2013 you no longer qualify for this
and will be charged full council tax from 1 April 2013.
If you are having trouble paying your council tax it is
important you contact us immediately on 0845 600 6400.
If we are aware of your situation we will do all we can to help
you. Please do not ignore your bill. This will lead to formal
recovery action that will add further costs to your account.
You may be
entitled to a discount or help through Council Tax Support.
Rescheduling your payments may also help you.
us immediately if you require any further information.
If you miss a council tax instalment you will receive a reminder
notice. This will give you 7 days to pay the outstanding
If you do not pay this amount the full annual charge will need
to be paid. If it is not paid within a further 7 days formal
recovery action will be taken.
You will only receive two reminders within a financial year. On
the third missed payment a Final Notice will be issued. This will
demand the remainder of the years charge and removes your right to
pay by instalments.
Now you can save time, hassle and paper by managing your bills
securely online - for free. Find
out more here.
If you have any suggestions regarding items that you would find
useful on our Council Tax web pages please email QualityAssurance@northumberland.gov.uk
who will consider any suggestions for improvement.