Your Council Tax and Business Rates explained
April 2015 – March 2016
Council Tax and Business Rates
- Getting help to pay your bill
- Council Tax Support Scheme
- How we deal with benefit cheats
- Customer Services
- Changed your circumstances?
- Electronic Billing
- How your Council Tax is calculated
- Why has the Council not held a referendum on the Council Tax increase?
- Our Income and Expenditure
- How to contact us
- Non-domestic rates
- National non-domestic rating multiplier
- Setting rateable values
- Valuation appeals
- Rating advisers
- Business Rates Instalments
- Revaluation 2017
- How can I reduce my bill?
- Other things that will affect your bill
- How to contact us
- Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester
- Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority
- Greater Manchester Transport - GMCA
Previous years Precepts and Levies
- 2013/2014 - Precepts and Levies 7.25 MB | Greater Manchester transport 269.08 KB
- 2014/2015 - Precepts and Levies 1.39 MB | Greater Manchester transport 190.53 KB 2014/2015 - Precepts and Levies 1.39 MB | Greater Manchester transport 190.53 KB
The Council Tax Support Scheme provides financial assistance to Council Tax payers on a low income whether they rent or own their own home, or live rent-free, by reducing the amount of Council Tax they have to pay. The level of support provided under Council Tax Support may be significantly lower for some customers than they previously received under the Council Tax Benefit scheme. Claimants of a state pension age continue to receive the same level of support as they did under Council Tax Benefit. Claims for working age claimants are assessed differently.
Who is it for?
- People on low income who are liable to pay Council tax may be entitled to help.
How is it worked out?
The Council will look at the money you and your partner have coming in as well as your savings. The Council will also look at your other circumstances such as your age and whether anyone else lives with you. With this information the Council will work out if you qualify for Council Tax Support. If you can get Council Tax Support, this will not affect the amount of money you receive in other benefits. The main aspects of the Council Tax Support Scheme for working age claimants are:
- A maximum limit of 80% to the amount of Council Tax Support that can be paid
- Council Tax Support is limited to the level that would be given for a band B property. You can find more information at the Council Tax Support Scheme page
How to claim
You can claim Council Tax Support straight away by using the online application form at www.tameside.gov.uk/ctss
If you find monthly payments difficult, you can arrange to pay your bill weekly or fortnightly. If you choose this will need to notify us so that we can amend your instalment details.
You can arrange to pay your Council Tax bill by 12 monthly instalments. If you choose this method you will need to email the Council Tax Team at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 4 April 2015 so that we can amend your instalment details.
If you are experiencing difficulties, please make early contact by using the contact details at the back of this booklet. We will check that your bill is correct, and identify any reductions you may be entitled to that you have not claimed.
Alternatively you can contact:
Welfare Rights Debt Advice Service
Tel: 0800 328 0008 if you are experiencing
Mincom: 0161 342 2283
A drop-in session runs every first and third Thursday of the month at the Council Offices Ashton-under-Lyne between 9.30am and 12 noon - no appointment necessary.
Detailed below are other agencies, which offer free advice if you are experiencing financial difficulties:
Tameside Citizens Advice Bureau
Tel: 0161 342 5005
Tel: 0808 808 4000
Money Information Network Tameside
For Help with Housing Matters:
Tel: 0161 331 2700
Tel: 0844 800 4444
Full Council Tax assumes there are two adults living in the dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling the Council Tax will be reduced by 25%.
If the property is furnished and another property in England or Wales is your main residence, you will be required to pay 100% of the Council Tax charge.
If the property is not your only or main residence and is empty, you will be required to pay 100% of the Council Tax charge.
Long Term Empty over 24 months
If the property is unfurnished and is not your only or main residence and has been empty for more than 24 months, you will be required to pay 150% of the Council Tax charge. Even if you have not owned the property for 24 months you will still be liable for the charge if it has been empty under a previous owner and is still empty.
Some people are not counted when looking at the number of adults resident in a property if they meet certain conditions.
You may be eligible to a discount where there are:
- full-time students, student nurses, apprentices, youth training trainees and initial teacher-training trainees
- patients resident in hospital
- people who are being looked after in care homes
- people who are severely mentally impaired
- people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 to 19-year-olds who are at, or have just left, school
- care workers working for low pay. Usually for charities
- people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
- people living in an annexe owned by a family member who occupies the main property
- members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
- people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine).
For a full list of all discounts or for further information visit www.tameside.gov.uk/counciltax/discounts
Do you own an empty home?
Perhaps you have inherited it or struggling to finance vital repairs to bring the property back into use? We understand that there are a wide range of reasons that people own empty homes.
Now our new Empty to Plenty campaign offers you plenty of help and support to bring your empty home back to life. You can find out about the advice and support available to you as owners, and the organisations who will help transform your empty house into a new home.
The Council wants to bring as many of the 800 empty properties in the borough back to life. We want families to have a place to live, communities and streets to be attractive and safe, and owners to see a financial return on their investments.
To get involved and access plenty of support to help return your property back into use, contact our Empty Homes team:
0161 342 3308 / 2741
The Empty to Plenty campaign is a Greater Manchester-wide initiative.
Get involved on Twitter
Disability Reduction Scheme
If you or someone who lives with you (adult or child) has a room or an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduction in your
The bill may be reduced to that of a band immediately below that shown on the valuation list. If your home is in band A you will already be in the lowest Council Tax band, however, you may still qualify for a reduction. Contact us for further advice on 0161 342 2015.
Forms are also available on the Council’s website www.tameside.gov.uk/counciltax/disability
If your bill indicates that a discount, exemption, or disability reduction has been allowed, you must tell Tameside Council within 21 days of any change in circumstances which affects your entitlement to that discount.
If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a penalty of £70.
You may appeal against your property banding where:
- You believe that the banding should be changed because of an increase or reduction in the value of the property due to building work being carried out on the dwelling, i.e. demolition, extensions or converting the property from houses to flats
- You adapt part of your dwelling for business use and it is entered into the Non Domestic Rating list
- The listing officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer
- Physical changes in the locality affecting value; or within 6 months of the following: A band change to your property made by the listing officer; a band change made to a similar property to yours has been made
by a tribunal or court; you have become a taxpayer at the property in the last 6 months
- Where a property is in severe disrepair or dereliction you can appeal to the Valuation Office Agency to request that the property be removed from tax.
Reductions or increases in value resulting from the general state of the housing market do not affect the banding of your property.
Your appeal should be sent to:
The Listing Officer, Council Tax North,
Valuation Office Agency,
King William House, Market Place,
Hull, HU1 1RT.
You may also appeal if you think that you are not liable to pay Council Tax. For example, because you are not the owner, or because the property is exempt, or you believe we have made a mistake in calculating your
bill. If you wish to make an appeal on these grounds you must first notify us in writing so that we have the opportunity to review the case.
Please write to:
PO Box 304,
Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of Council Tax. Payments should continue to be made in accordance with the instalments shown on your bill. If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid Council Tax.
Warning Over Council Tax “Appeal” Calls
If you are contacted by a company claiming they can get you a refund by having your home moved to a lower Council Tax Band, please bear in mind the following:
- The companies have not been appointed by Tameside Council
- Attempts to change your Council Tax band by using one of these companies usually requires a non-refundable up-front fee, or they will often take a large percentage of any overpayment secured
- Any appeal could result in your property band going up rather than down, resulting in a higher Council Tax charge.
If you genuinely believe your Council Tax property band is wrong, you can appeal without any assistance from any other company.
For further information:
Telephone 0161 342 2015 or go to www.tameside.gov.uk/Counciltax
Benefit Fraud investigations are undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions under the umbrella of the Single Fraud Investigation Service. However, the Council remains committed to supporting the Department for Work and Pensions and helping them tackle Benefit Fraud.
Typical examples of benefit fraud are:
- People who work but do not declare this when they claim benefit.
- People who claim as a single person but actually live with a partner.
- People who claim from an address but do not live there.
- People who do not tell us the full amount of income, savings or capital when they claim benefit.
If you need to speak to someone in person about your council tax account you can call into our office in Ashton.
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday - Wednesday
8.30am - 4.30pm Thursday
8.30am - 4.00pm Friday
Please tell us immediately of any changes in your circumstances, which may affect your Council Tax liability.
These are some of the changes that should be reported:
- If you move house
- Someone comes to live with you
- Someone leaves your property
- If you feel you should be entitled to a discount or any of the exemptions
- If you cease to be employed or start work
The Council is continually aiming to improve its service to you.
Electronic billing for Council Tax is now available. This is a more effective and efficient way to receive your Council Tax bill.
If you wish to view all future bills online then you will need to register/login with Self Service.
From there you can register to view your Council Tax account online. When registered you will be prompted to sign up for e-billing. Simply provide your email address and select the “email with link” option and confirm.
You will then be advised how to view your on-line Council Tax bill.
Most home/homes will be subject to Council Tax. There will be one bill per home/homes whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented. The District Valuer has allocated each property to one of eight valuation bands according to its market value on 1 April 1991.
|Property Valuation Band||Tameside £||Mossley £|
|A (Up to and including £40,000)||961.72||967.33|
|B (£40,001 - £52,000)||1122.02||1128.56|
|C (£52,001 - £68,000)||1282.30||1289.78|
|D (£68,001 - £88,000)||1442.59||1451.00|
|E (£88,001 - £120,000)||1763.15||1773.43|
|F (£120,001 - £160,000)||2083.73||2095.88|
|G (£160,001 - £320,000)||2404.31||2418.33|
|H (More than £320,000)||2885.18||2902.00|
This table details the amount of Council Tax payable by band, including Mossley Parish precept.
The overall rise in the Council Tax charge is 1.6%. Since this is below the limit set by Central Government a referendum is not required.
The extent of total Council expenditure is dictated by the amount of income or funding we receive. In the light of future financial constraints it has become even more important that the Council continues to align limited resources with key Council priorities, which are all influenced by local priorities, input from public consultation, consultation with local businesses, Government policies, performance information and external inspections. The charts below summarise the sources of funding received by the Council and how we plan to utilise them in the upcoming financial year.
Where we get our money from - £358 million
The council’s budget is made up partly from central government grants and partly from money raised through council tax and business rates.
Where we spend our money - £358 million
You can view detailed information regarding the expenditure of the Council and precepting authorities at www.tameside.gov.uk/counciltax. Alternatively a hard copy can be requested by contacting the Council Tax team.
Non-domestic rates, or business rates, are the way businesses contribute towards the cost of local services. With effect from 1 April 2013 the Government introduced Rates Retention. This means central Government will no longer pool the rates collected and redistribute them to the local Council according to the number of people living in the borough. Instead, the rates collected by the Council will be shared equally between central Government and the local authority. The Council’s share, together with revenue from Council Tax payers and other income, will then be used to pay for the services we provide.
Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, may be obtained at www.gov.uk
We work out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the multiplier or poundage, which the Government sets for the whole of England on the 1st of April each year.
There are two multipliers – the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small-business rating multiplier.
The standard multiplier is higher to pay for small business rate relief. The multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of Small Business Rate Relief. With effect from 1 April 2014 the Government capped the Retail Price Index increase at 2% instead of 3.2%. This will limit the amount your bill can increase. The current multiplier used will be shown on the front of your bill.
Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value, which is set by Valuation Officers from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HM Revenue and Customs. The agency draws up and keeps a full list of all rateable values. The list is available on their website at www.voa.gov.uk . Your property’s rateable value will be shown on the front of your bill. The rateable value represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.
The Valuation Officer may alter the rateable value if the circumstances have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the rateable value shown in the rating list if they believe it is wrong. The Government has announced there will be limits on the backdating of changes to rating assessments with effect from 1 April 2015.
If the VOA receive your appeal on or after 1 April 2015 then the earliest they can back date any changes is that date. This means the Council can only back date any business rates rebate to that same date. You will continue to have your full legal rights to appeal your rating assessment. The VOA will continue to fulfil their legal obligations to alter the rating list if new information comes to light indicating the valuation is inaccurate. Any alterations they make on or after 1 April 2016 can only be backdated to 1 April 2015. You can get more information on the grounds for making an appeal, and on how to make an appeal, on the VOA website www.voa.gov.uk
Alternatively, contact David Grace BSc(Hons) MRICS, Valuation Officer, Nondomestic Rates North West, Valuation Office Agency, 72 Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AY. Tel: 0300 501501.
If you have appealed against your rateable value, you must still pay the amount on your bill. You cannot withhold payment until you get the result of your appeal. However, if your appeal is successful, you can e-mail email@example.com for a full refund of the overpaid rates.
You do not require a rating agent in order to appeal your rateable value or discuss your rates bill. You can appeal against the rateable value free of charge. However, if you do want to be represented, you should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) www.rics.org/uk and the Institute of Revenue’s Rating and Valuation (IRRV) www.irrv.org.uk are qualified and regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect you. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the knowledge and expertise needed, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.
Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has legislated to allow businesses to ask for their business rate bills to be spread over 12 months to help with cash flow. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact the Business Rates section by the 4 April 2015 on 0161 342 2045 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation to ensure bills paid by any one ratepayer reflect changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. This helps maintain fairness in the rating system by updating valuations in line with changes in the market. The current rating list is based on the 2010 revaluation.
The Government has confirmed that the next revaluation will take place in 2017 based on rental values as at 1 April 2015. More information on revaluation 2017 can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency
In the year of revaluation the multipliers are rebased to account for overall changes to rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. Similarly, the change in the revaluation date to 2017 has no effect on the total amount of revenue raised from business rates.
As well as reducing your property’s rateable value, you can get other relief to bring down your bill. These include the following:
Empty Property Rating
In general, there will be no business rates to pay for the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this you must pay the full rates unless the
Government has reduced the empty rate. In most cases, the empty property rate is zero for properties owned by charities or amateur sports clubs on the provision that the next intended use is charitable.
You may not have to pay empty property rate if you meet certain conditions (known as exemptions) e.g. Listed buildings, prohibited by law from occupation and insolvency. Please contact us for full details.
If the Government has reduced the empty property rate for the financial year, the new rate will be shown on your bill. From 1 April 2011 the empty rateable value threshold has reduced to £2,600; therefore properties
with a rateable value which does not exceed £2,599 will be exempt from empty property rates.
Partly Occupied Properties
You are liable for the full non-domestic rate whether the property is fully or only partly used. If you only use part of a property for a short time, in certain circumstances, we can apply to the Valuation Office Agency to award a temporary reduction for the part that is not in use.
Extension of Empty Property Rate Relief for Empty New Builds
The Government has introduced a new measure to extend empty property rate relief for empty new builds (up to State Aid limits). Empty new builds will be exempt from empty property rates for up to 18 months up to
state aid limits between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial 3 or 6 month exemption.
The relief continues beyond 31 October 2016 for those that become eligible before that date.
For more details, please visit the Council’s website www.tameside.gov.uk/business/rates/emptyproperty
With effect from 1 April 2014, the Government has introduced a Reoccupation Relief. This relief provides for a 50% Business Rates discount over a period of 18 months between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2016 for businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for a year or more.
The Government is also funding a discount worth up to £1,000 a year in 2014-15 and £1,500 in 2015-16 for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000.
Retail Discounts are subject to the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013). This means that the amount granted is restricted to State Aid Limits, which is €200,000 over a rolling 3 year period. If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform the Council immediately with details of the aid received.
Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)
This relief is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:
- One property, or
- One main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties have a rateable value of less than £2,599.
The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregated rateable value of all properties mentioned in (b), must be under £18,000 outside London on every day for which relief is sought. If the rateable value increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.
If you meet these conditions we will work out your bill for your single or main property using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier rather than the ordinary non-domestic rating multiplier that is used to calculate the liability of other businesses.
Also, if the single or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value of up to £12,000, you will receive a percentage reduction in your rates bill for this property. Due to the financial climate the Government
doubled the level of SBRR for a period of 12 months from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011. This has now been extended to 31 March 2015. From 1 October 2010, properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less did not have to pay Business Rates with a tapered relief between 100% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.
From 1 April 2016, the levels of SBRR may change please bear this in mind for future years.
We grant your relief as long as your circumstances do not change. You must tell us about the following changes in your circumstances:
- You start to occupy a property you did not occupy at the time of making your application for relief. With effect from 1 April 2014 ratepayers receiving SBRR who take on an additional property, which would previously disqualify them from receiving relief, will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.
- There is an increase in the rateable value which does not exceed £2,599. You must tell us about these changes within four weeks of the day following the date the change happened.
As long as you do this there will be no interruption to your entitlement to the relief. You must make a new application for relief if you have started to occupy another property.
If you do not take on any more properties, you will only have to make a claim once, although there are regular reviews of all relief granted. To tell us about an increase in rateable value, you must provide details in writing.
Full details on the eligibility criteria and how to apply for this relief are available by contacting business rates on 0161 342 2045, sending the Business Rates Team a message or by visiting the Business Rates page.
Charitable Relief and Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs Relief
Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered Community Amateur Sports Club.
The Council also has discretion to award further relief on the remaining bill.
Non-Profit making organisation relief
The Council has discretion to give relief to non-profit making organisations. We will judge each case on its merits and in accordance with the Council’s qualifying criteria.
The Council has discretion to give relief in special circumstances. Evidence to substantiate a claim will be required and each case will be judged in accordance with qualifying criteria.
If you are not getting any of the types of reliefs mentioned above and think you may qualify, simply contact us.
Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available on the Business Rates page.
A hard copy is available on request.
What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my bill?
We understand that people sometimes have difficulty paying their bills. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can agree a payment plan. We will try our best to help you.
What should I do if I move my business?
You should tell us as soon as possible if any of the details on your bill, or other related matters, need changing.
If you are moving your business, please tell us so that we can change our records and send an apportioned bill.
We will need to know the date you are moving, your new address, the date the lease runs out if this applies, the name and address of the owner or landlord of your old property, and the person moving into it, if known.
What should I do if my circumstances change?
If you are currently receiving an empty-rate exemption or charitable relief or discretionary relief, you should contact us if any of your circumstances have changed, which may affect your entitlement.
What should I do if I think my bill is incorrect?
Please contact us and tell us why you think your bill is incorrect. Please quote your billing number and address of the property concerned each time you contact us.
Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay your Council Tax or Business Rates. It is cost effective, efficient and couldn’t be simpler. Complete a direct debit instruction from the Council’s website at the Council’s Payment page.
Direct Debit means your payments are collected automatically each month. Your payments are covered by the Direct Debit guarantee Scheme. We will continue to collect your payments each year until you instruct us otherwise.
On the web
To make a payment go to the Council Tax page.
To check your Council Tax balance and inform us of any changes register for the new self service system. Go to the Self Service System.
Payments by debit/credit card can be made on our 24-hour payment line: 0844 848 2566. For BT customers, calls are charged up to 5p per minute, calls from other networks and mobiles may vary.
Please note; there is a 2% charge for payments made by Credit Card
Council Tax or Business Rates payments can be made by standing order at your bank. See the back of your bill for further details.
Payments can also be made at:
- The Post Office
- At any paypoint or payzone outlet, using your Council Tax or Business Rates bill
Full payment details can be found on the back of your Council Tax or Business Rates bill.
Go on-line and save yourself time
Council Tax, Housing Benefit and NNDR Customers, can now take advantage of our new and improved, secure self-service system:
Visit www.tameside.gov.uk and select Council Tax, Self Service for more information. Benefit claimants and Landlords can view payments and overpayments Businesses and Council Tax payers can receive an on-line bill, set up or amend a direct debit, review payments and notify us of changes of address
- Make Council Tax payment arrangements online
- Claim Council Tax Single Person Discount online
- Review Council Tax discounts online