- the new financial year is approaching
- you move to a different property
- there's a change to who's responsible for paying
- you or someone living with you has a change of circumstances
- you get Council Tax Support and your benefit changes
Other changes in circumstances may also lead to a revised bill being issued.
Annual council tax bills for the financial year
The financial year begins on 1 April - if you're responsible for paying council tax (liable) and have not moved, your 'liability' runs from 1 April to 31 March.
We'll send a new annual bill during March to set out your council tax charges for the coming year. If you get council tax discounts or exemptions, or Council Tax Support, this will be detailed on your bill.
Checking your council tax bill
Whenever a council tax bill arrives check:
- the names of people who are 'liable'
- that the address is correct
- discounts or benefits are shown
- the total amount you owe
- instalment dates
- your payment method
Council tax bills when moving house
When you move (if you're liable to pay council tax) you'll be issued with council tax bills showing what you owe at each address:
- if you're moving into a property in York you'll get a new bill at your new address
- if you're moving out of a property in York you'll a final bill for your previous address (sent to your forwarding address)
- if you're moving between 2 properties you'll get a bill for each address (sent to your forwarding address)
Your council tax bills at a new address
When you move to a new property we'll send a new bill with details of your payments for the remainder of the financial year (until 31 March). In addition to the usual council tax bill checks, you should ensure the date you became liable for paying, matches the date you became responsible for the property (not always your move-in date).
If you've moved between properties in York and you're responsible for council tax at both addresses, a credit may have been applied to your new bill.
Your council tax bill for a previous address
When you move out of a property we'll send a bill to your forwarding address to:
- confirm the 'liability end date'
- show the amount due since 1 April and the end date
- show the amount paid towards between 1 April and the end date
- show the final balance due (which may be a credit amount)
If more than one person is liable and they move to different addresses, each person will get their own bill. In addition to the usual council tax bill checks, you should ensure the date your liability ended matches the date you stopped being responsible for the property (not always your move-out date).
Council tax bills when liability changes
If there's a change to who's responsible for paying council tax at your address you'll get a new bill - you'll also get a 'closing bill' which covers the previous period of liability (including any payments due). Remember to do the usual council tax bill checks to ensure the details are correct.
Changes of 'liable parties' include:
- somebody moving in who wants to be included on the bill
- somebody moving out who was previously included on the bill
- a current occupant who was not previously liable wanting to be added to the bill
- a current occupant who was liable needing to be removed from the bill
If there's a change to who's liable to pay council tax a new account is created, with a separate account reference. Any credit from the previous period of liability is refunded (not carried over).
Council tax bills when circumstances change
If the people living at your address have a change in circumstance it could affect their liability to pay council tax, so we may send a new bill if:
- someone becomes eligible for Council Tax Support
- a benefit claim comes to an end
- a liable party becomes eligible for council tax discounts or exemptions
- the property becomes eligible for property discounts or exemptions
- any discount or exemption is removed
A change in circumstance won't normally require a new/separate account, though in some cases it may be necessary to create one.
Remember to do the usual council tax bill checks to ensure the details are correct following a change in circumstances.
Disruption to services during 'annual billing'
Throughout March we update our internal systems and send out 12,000 letters per day, so you receive a council tax bill in time for the new financial year, on 1 April. This 'annual billing' period interupts our usual timescales for issuing new, revised and copy bills and refunds.
Revised council tax bills during annual billing
Normally we'll send you a new or revised bill within 5 working days of you telling us about changes to liability or circumstances. During annual billing:
- no new or revised bills are printed or posted between late February and mid March
- any changes are recorded and accounts updated, but confirmation is sent in late March
- you may get an annual bill which doesn't show any changes while you're waiting for a revised bill
Copy council tax bills during annual billing
Normally we'll respond within 5 working days when you request a copy bill. However, if you need a copy bill between February and April (during annual billing):
- we can only send a copy for the current financial year (ending 31 March)
- you can't request a copy bill to cover the new financial year until after 1 April (eg, if you've misplaced the one we sent in early March)
Council tax refunds during annual billing
Between late February and 31 March won't be able to request a refund (for credit caused by overpayments). Any credit on your account will automatically be applied to your council tax bill for the new financial year, leading to reduced monthly instalments.
Updates to your council tax account during 'annual billing'
Due to internal system updates at the end/beginning of the financial year, it's not possible to make updates to your account on 31 March or 1 April for a period of up to 24 hours; we can only provide advice on your council tax at this time. You can update your account online at this time, but those changes may also be subject to a slight delay.