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Council Tax additional information

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Water and Waste Water Charges

By law the Council is required to bill and collect water and waste water charges on behalf of Scottish Water. More information can be found at scottishwater.co.uk.  Any enquiries about the level of charges and information on the service provided must be made to Scottish Water on 0800 077 8778. Charges for this year can be found at www.fife.gov.uk/counciltax

Council Tax Reduction only covers Council Tax charges, you still have to pay any Water or Waste Water costs, unless you have a private supply.

Payment

Council Tax is usually payable over 10 instalments on or by the 1st of each month from April to January. Payment can be made over 12 months by Direct Debit, in monthly, weekly or fortnightly instalments. One lump sum payment can also be made on or by the 1st July with prior agreement.  For more information on ways to pay, please visit www.fife.gov.uk/paymycounciltax

If you do not make payment in full you will be sent an overdue notice. Further failure to pay may result in a summary warrant and a 10% penalty added to the outstanding balance. This will be done without any further notice.

Joint and Several Liability

Couples who are married or living together as husband and wife, including civil partnerships, will be held jointly and severally liable for the full amount payable. Joint owners or tenants, whether or not they are named on the bill, will also be jointly and severally liable. Previous debts will be pursued with current liabilities; this may result in details of previous debt being shared with current partners.

Disablement Relief

If a permanently disabled person lives in a house which has been altered to meet their needs, a reduction in the Council Tax payable may be applied. Learn more and apply online at www.fife.gov.uk/ctaxdisablement

Discounts & Exemptions

A full Council Tax charge is payable if there are two or more adults, aged 18 or over, living in a property as their main home.  Students and carers usually aren’t counted in your household numbers.  Discounts can also apply for apprentices, school leavers, care leavers and those in hospital.  If someone has been diagnosed as having a severe mental impairment including dementia or Alzheimers, they may also be entitled. Learn more and apply online at www.fife.gov.uk/counciltax

Long Term Empty Properties

If you are the owner of a property which has been empty for 12 months or more, the Council Tax charge will increase by 100%. This is to help tackle property shortages across the country. An exemption will still apply to an empty and unfurnished property for up to 6 months from the date it was last occupied. After this, a 50% discount will be awarded for a further 6 months.  After 12 months, the discount will end and the charge will increase to 200%.  If your property has been empty for less than 24 months in total and is being actively marketed for sale or let, the variation will not apply until 24 months have passed.

You must contact us to advise us of the status of the property at www.fife.gov.uk/ctaxpropertyenquiry.  If you would like more information on what you could do with your empty property and help available, please email the Empty Homes Officer at emptyhomes@fife.gov.uk

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Council Tax Reduction may be awarded to help people on a low income.  If you are receiving Universal Credit you must still make a separate application as this is not included within your Universal Credit claim.  Apply online at www.fife.gov.uk/ctaxreduction.

You must notify us of any changes to your circumstances as this may affect your entitlement and the amount of Council Tax you pay. For a breakdown of how your reduction is calculated, please contact us.

Report a Change

You must report any change of address or change to your circumstances which might affect the amount you are liable to pay. You can do so online at www.fife.gov.uk/ctaxchange. If you fail to notify the Council of any changes which might affect discounts or exemptions, you may be liable to pay a £500 fine.

Banding / Valuation

The valuation band for your property is shown on the front of this bill. By law, the Assessor for Fife Council is responsible for placing all houses in one of 8 council tax valuation bands. The banding can also be changed in certain circumstances including when purchased and altered and/or extended by a previous owner.

If you disagree with the banding of your property, you can submit a proposal (similar to an appeal) but time limits apply. For example, the Assessor must receive a proposal from a new taxpayer within 6 months of their acquisition of the property. You can make a proposal online at: www.saa.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-proposals/, download a proposal form from that address, or alternatively request a proposal form from the Assessor Service.  Information on Council Tax banding and valuation is available at: www.saa.gov.uk/council-tax/ or by contacting the Assessor Service.

Banding queries must be addressed to the Assessor by email to Fife.Assessor@fife.gov.uk or by post to Assessor Service, Bankhead Central 2, Bankhead Place, Glenrothes, KY7 6GH.

Online Account

Manage your Council Tax account online to view your balance, make payments, receive electronic bills and apply for discounts or report changes.  Visit www.fife.gov.uk/ctaxonline to register or login.

Disputes

If we have made a decision you disagree with, you can query this decision. If you are still not satisfied, then you have the right of appeal to the Valuation Appeals Committee within 4 months of the date of your initial enquiry.

Budget & Information

For details of how the Council spends your Council Tax visit www.fife.gov.uk/counciltax.

Missed Direct Debit Payments

If you pay monthly, we will attempt to collect an unpaid instalment 7 days after the initial request. Missed instalments for other payment frequencies will not represent, therefore a manual payment will be required, or you can contact us direct on 03451 55 11 55, selecting hotkey 4 during the introduction.

If instalments continue to be rejected by your bank, we reserve the right to remove you from the Direct Debit scheme.

Privacy

Information gathered will be held by Fife Council on electronic computer records to manage your account. Fife Council has a duty to protect the funds it administers and for this purpose may use the information you have provided to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.

All collection use and storage of personal information will be in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Telephone calls may be recorded for training purposes and the protection of public funds. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by Fife Council against other computer records held by the Council or other body. This is usually personal information. Fife Council may share the information that you have provided with other bodies for the purpose of prevention and detection of fraud. Further information is available on the website www.fife.gov.uk/privacy