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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Paying your Council Tax


To pay by credit or debit card now, just press the Pay your Council Tax button above.

You may be paying too much council tax - see if you're eligible to pay less, or if your property is exempt.

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Essential Information

  • Extending to 12 monthly instalments

    We can now offer the facility to pay by 12 monthly instalments instead of the usual 10. This facility is available for Council Tax accounts where we have issued you with an annual bill during the month of March 2013. The payment plan where we can offer 12 monthly instalments is payment by direct debit and it commences on 28th April. To take up this facility you will need to submit an application to Birmingham City Council Revenue Department to be received no later than 15 April 2013. Payment schemes for other methods can be extended to March 2014 also, although they may not be 12 instalments.

    For applications after 15 April we can still offer extended monthly instalments to the end of the financial year (March 2014) however the number of payments will reduce as the year goes by.

    How to apply

    If you want to apply for the extended payment facility, then you need to e-mail us at council.tax@birmingham.gov.uk heading your e-mail in the subject field Extended Payments to enable us to identify these as a priority request. You must provide your name, address and reference number within the e-mail. If you wish to pay by Direct Debit you need to print the attached form at the bottom of this page, complete it and sign it, and either attach the form to your e-mail or post it to Birmingham City Council, Revenues and Benefits, P.O.Box 5, Birmingham, B4 7AB. If you currently pay by Direct Debit and want to extend your payment plan you do not have to complete another form, just e-mail us with your request.

    Methods of payment

    You can pay by the following monthly methods of payment:

    Direct Debit 8th/15th/21st/28th of the month
    Demand 1st of the month
    Paycard 1st of the month
    Secure Homes 1st of the month

  • Direct debit is the easiest way to pay. Payments are made automatically by your bank or building society and you’re fully protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

    You can choose to make your payments on either the 8th, 15th, 21st or 28th of each month. You can also pay by direct debit if you pay yearly or half yearly. Payments will be requested on 1st April and the balance by 1st October .

    If you would like to pay your council tax by direct debit you can complete and return the Direct Debit Form located at the bottom of this page to Revenues and Benefits, PO Box 5, Birmingham, B4 7AB

    Alternatively, call us on 0121 303 1113 (Lines are open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday except Bank Holidays). You will need to have your bank details to hand and advise us of your chosen payment date and we will do the rest.

  • To pay online now click the Pay Council Tax Online button above. Please have your debit or credit card details and your ten-digit account number to hand. The minimum payment amount is £5.00. You’ll need to give us your contact details in case we need to get in touch (we will keep a record of this information).

    You can pay your council tax online by debit or credit card. We accept Mastercard, Debit Mastercard, Visa, Visa Debit, Maestro and Solo.

    When you’ve completed the payment form, you’ll then need to enter your debit or credit card details on WorldPay. Your card details will be encrypted and stored on a secure server at RBS WorldPay.

    RBS WorldPay will then approve the payment and tell us that your payment has been authorised. We will then process your payment within one working day or the next available working day after weekends or bank holidays.

  • To pay your Council Tax online via personal internet banking, your bank needs the council's bank sort code, bank account number and a billing reference number.

    Our Bank Sort Code is 08-90-01.

    Our Bank Account number is 61314007.

    Your Billing Reference number is a 10-digit number, which starts with 5 and is shown on your bill and/or payment card.

    Please note

    The billing reference number allocates your payment to your own Council Tax account. This number can change when you receive new payment documents. Please make sure that you tell your bank if your billing reference number changes.

  • Please call 0121 464 2001. This is an automated telephone answering service. You’ll need your debit or credit card details and your ten-digit council tax account number.

  • Please make cheques and postal orders payable to Birmingham City Council. You must write your ten-digit account number on the back and send them to:

    Birmingham City Council
    Resources Department (Revenues & Benefits)
    PO Box 5
    B4 7AB.

    • Do not staple, pin or fold cheques.
    • Please do not send your payment card, if you have been issued with one.
    • Do not send cash by post.
    • If you want a receipt, please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope. We’re unable to issue receipts without this.

    You must allow five working days for your payment to reach us.
  • Payment cards are not automatically issued with new bills. If the front of your bill says that you will be paying by payment card please allow seven working days for this to arrive.

    Unlike your annual bill a payment card is not issued each year. If you lose your card or it is damaged please call us on 0121 303 1113 (lines are open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday except Bank Holidays) so that we can issue a replacement.

    If you move house you will need a new payment card as your account number will change.

    You can use your payment card at any Post Office. If you pay by cheque at the Post Office you must make the cheque payable to "Post Office Ltd". You can also pay at any shop displaying the PayPoint or PayZone logo. Only cash is accepted at these outlets and there may be a limit to the amount you can pay.

    A receipt will only be issued upon request

  • If you miss a payment we will send you either a reminder notice or a final notice.

    If you fall behind with your payments or you are paying later than the dates shown on your bill we will send you a reminder giving you seven days to bring your account up to date.

    If you bring your account up to date and fall behind again we will send you a second reminder.

    If you do not bring your account up to date or you fall behind a third time, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and the full year’s council tax becomes payable automatically. If the amount you owe has changed since your last reminder you will receive a final notice.

    If at this point you agree to pay by direct debit we will consider reinstating your right to instalments. You can choose the payment date that best suits you; a printable direct debit form is available at the bottom of this page.

    If the full year’s council tax has become due and is not paid within 14 days we will send you a summons to appear in court. Costs will be added to your account at this point.

    If you are having difficulty paying please call us on 0121 303 1113 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

  • The summons directs you to attend a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Corporation Street.

    You do not need to come to court if you:

    • pay the full amount owing including the costs before the hearing date. You can pay by debit or credit card using our 24-hour payment line 0121 464 2001 (you will need your card details and your ten-digit council tax account number).

    • call us before the hearing date and make an arrangement to pay what you owe including the costs. You can call 0121 303 1113 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

    If you do come to court, you will be interviewed by a member of our staff who will;

    • agree a payment arrangement with you

    • take note of any queries you may have about your bill or your payments and advise you what to do next

    Everyone has the right to appear before the court in person if they choose but few do so. This is because the magistrates cannot look into:

    • whether you have been billed for the correct period

    • whether you should have had a discount, exemption or disabled reduction

    • whether you can afford to pay

    • whether you have been given the right amount of benefit/council tax support

    If you have a query the officer interviewing you will advise you what to do next.

  • Before entering into a payment arrangement with you we will ask some questions about your finances. If you are working we will need to know who you work for.

    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 handy.

    We will still ask the court for a liability order, but we will take no further action as long as you pay as agreed.

    If you find yourself unable to keep to your arrangement you must let us know.

    Instead of paying us direct you can ask us to take deductions direct from your earnings or your benefits once the liability order has been granted.

  • If we have obtained a liability order against you we will issue a liability order notification showing the amount you still owe including the costs.

    You will receive one of these even if you have already made an arrangement but need take no further action if you are paying as agreed.

    Further action will follow after 7 days unless you;

    • pay the full amount owing including the costs. You can pay by debit or credit card using our 24-hour payment line 0121 464 2001 (you will need your card details and your ten-digit council tax account number).
    • call us and make an arrangement to pay what you owe including the costs. You can call 0121 303 1113 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

    There is an income and spending form on the back of the notification to help you work out how much you can afford to pay.

    If you do not contact us and a debt remains outstanding we can;

    • instruct your employer to make deductions from your salary or wages
    • ask the Department for Work and Pensions to make deductions from your benefits
    • pass the debt to civil enforcement agents (bailiffs)
    • ask the county court to place a charge on your property (if you own it)
    • apply to the county court for a bankruptcy order

  • Once we have a Liability Order we will send you an income details form asking you to supply details about your income and expenditure. You have two weeks to complete and return this to us.

    This letter also contains details of what happens if your account is issued to our bailiffs for them to collect the outstanding debt from you.

    If you do not complete and return the income details form within two weeks, we can take further action against you.

  • If you’re working we can ask your employer to make deductions from your wages or salary to pay the amount you owe. The deductions are set by law and are taken as a percentage of your net earnings. These may vary from week to week or month to month - for instance if overtime is worked. The percentages are set out in law and neither the Council nor your employer can change these levels.

    The table below shows the amount to be deducted from weekly earnings.

    Net Earnings Deduction Rate
    below £75 no deduction can be made
    £75 to £135 3%
    £135 to £185


    £185 to £225 7%
    £225 to £355 12%
    £355 to £505 17%
    above £505 17% for the first £505 and 50% for the remainder

    The table below shows the amount to be deducted from monthly earnings

    Net Earnings Deduction Rate
    below £300 no deduction rate
    £300 to £550 3%
    £550 to £740 5%
    £740 to £900 7%
    £900 to £1,420 12%
    £1,420 to £2,020 17%
    above £2,020 17% for the first £2,020 and 50% for the remainder

    For each deduction, your employer can take an extra £1 towards their administration costs. Deductions can be taken for two liability orders; a separate deduction is made for each. You must tell us in writing of any change in your employment within 14 days of it happening.

  • We may be able to apply for deductions to be made against your benefit in order to recover the debt if you are receiving:

    • Jobseekers Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
  • We only send cases to the bailiff where:

    - no contact has been made to raise disputes, and/or

    - no arrangement has been made: and/or

    - alternative ways of collecting the amounts owed, such as deduction from benefit or attachment of earnings is not appropriate.

    On receipt of the account, the bailiff will issue a letter asking you to contact them to make or discuss payment. They will be prepared to enter into a payment arrangement at this stage. However costs will be added to the amount you owe.

    If you make an arrangement but then don’t make the agreed payments, the bailiff will ask to enter your home to make a list of any of your belongings that come to the value of the unpaid council tax and costs. They can then return to your home and take your belongings. They will sell them to repay the full amount you owe.

    Equita Ltd can be contacted on 08705 566665

    Ross & Roberts can be contacted on 01458 271888

  • If your total debt exceeds £750, we can apply to make you bankrupt. This means that any assets owned by the person(s) subject to the application - such as property, shares or savings - may be used to clear their debts.

    Costs involved in this action can be substantial, but can be recovered from the person subject to the order. Because of the serious consequences of being declared bankrupt, such action is only taken where the bailiff has been unsuccessful in collecting the amounts owed.

  • We can apply to the court for a charging order if your debt is £1,000 or more and you own your home. If you sell your home, you will have to repay the debt first, before you are given any of the sale proceeds. A charging order is a way of securing the debt against your property.

    Payments can still be made to reduce the debt. If the debt is paid in full, including costs, the charge will be removed.

  • If the bailiffs have been unable to collect the debt and none of the above methods are appropriate or successful we can go back to the magistrates’ court and ask for you to be committed to prison.

    • You will have to give a full account of your financial circumstances from when you first fell into arrears to the present
    • If you do not attend court warrants will be sought for your arrest

    • You can be sent to prison for up to 90 days

    A prison sentence can be suspended to allow you to clear the debt at a rate ordered by the court.

    If you fall behind on a court order you must contact us as soon as possible. The court can reduce your payments but only if you attend court again – we will arrange this.

    If your case comes back to court and the magistrates are not satisfied with your reasons for not paying they can activate the prison sentence.

    • The sentence will be reduced in proportion to the payments made since the order was imposed

    • You will be released straightaway if the debt is paid in full

    • You will be released early if part payment is made

    • Any remaining debt remains due and payable even if a term of imprisonment has been served

  • Refund Policy

    Yearly Council Tax bills are issued during March and are payable over 10 monthly instalments unless a different payment scheme has been requested. Instalment payment plans commence in April. As Council Tax payments are mostly paid in advance, where there is a change in your circumstances a credit may occur on your account. These credits can be refunded to you by cheque after the credit has been verified.

    A refund will only be completed if your account is in credit and you do not owe any other amounts of Council Tax. If you move house within the city, any credit on your previous address will be transferred to your new address. If you have moved outside the city and have overpaid then a refund will be made.

    Reasons for Overpayment

    A Council Tax account can fall in to credit for the following reasons:

    • A discount has been awarded
    • An exemption has been awarded
    • Customer vacates or their liability end
    • Council Tax benefit has been awarded
    • A banding alteration
    • Customer overpaying

    Refunds will not be issued in respect of uncleared funds (i.e. cheque payments) or until banks/building societies have issued direct debit payments. In these cases there will be a slight delay in issuing the refund. We aim to send out refund cheques within 10 working days.

    To request this you can send an email to counciltax@birmingham.gov.uk.

    If a Council Tax account is in joint names and payment is to be made to only one of the Council Taxpayers then authorisation is required from the individual not receiving the cheque. An email request in this instance is not acceptable. The letter must be posted to us at Birmingham City Council, Revenues Service, PO Box 5, Birmingham, B4 7AB.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • When you fill out the payment form, you will need to enter a reference number and contact details so we can get in touch if we need to.

      After you have entered your details and the payment amount, you will be transferred to the secure RBS WorldPay site, where you can enter your card details securely. Your card details will be encrypted and stored on a secure server at RBS WorldPay, who will then approve the payment and tell us that your payment has been authorised. We will then process your payment within one working day, or the next available working day after weekends or Bank Holidays.

    • Costs cover the extra expenses that we’ve incurred, such as correspondence, postage and costs payable to the Magistrates’ Court.

    • Pay by Direct Debit. Call us on 0121 303 1113 and join the thousands of Birmingham taxpayers who already pay this way. As a Direct Debit payer you will also get the option of four payment dates. Alternatively, you can print and complete the direct debit form below (under the attachments section).

    • We will accept any payment that you can make and you will need to contact us immediately if you are unable to pay the amount requested from you. We are always willing to listen, and after considering your financial details will try to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement. Even if we can not agree an arrangement we will still accept payments you can make to reduce your Council Tax balance, however if your payments are not up to date we may take further action against you.

    • You should continue to make your instalments whilst your appeal is being determined. If you have overpaid, a refund will be sent to you.

    • Normally the person living in the property will pay, if it is their sole or main residence and they are over 18 years of age. If more than one person lives in the property, then it is the person who comes first on the following list:-

      • Owner who lives in the property
      • Tenant who lives in the property
      • Any person who lives in the property
      • Owner who does not live in the property

      If two or more people have the same interest in the property, eg, they are joint owners, or are married or living together as though married then they are all made liable and the Council Tax bill is payable by either person.

      In some circumstances, the owner is the liable person, eg, for houses in multiple occupation, residential care homes and properties occupied by asylum seekers.

attached document Council Tax Direct Debit Form
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