Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Urgent - Spread your council tax over 12 months instead of 10

Barnet residents may not be aware but you can now spread your council tax payments over 12 months instead of the usual ten months. This change was introduced by Eric Pickles but many councils have not made this rule change widely known. In Barnet you only have until Friday 5th April - yes this Friday - to request to pay your council tax over 12 instalments. For someone in a Band D property that will reduce your monthly outgoings by approximately £23.60 per month. You still pay the same amount but you just spread it over 12 months instead of 10. To have a look at the details you can download the booklet from the council's website here the details are on page 9.

3 comments:

  1. How odd Mr Reasonable that such a sensible change which will help people to budget better and pay all of their bills on time has not been shouted from the rooftops by Barnet Council.

    A good job you are here to help the residents.

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  2. Barbara Jacobson4 April 2013 13:43

    Thank you, Mr Reasonable. Barnet Council failed to send me the tax booklet. Instead I got a four-page leaflet with a four-colour graphic of council expenditure in the centre, which fails to mention the millions spent on external consultants. Why do you suppose that is? Anyway, I found a reference to the 12 monthly instalment opportunity on the back of my tax demand, which, unlike the rest of the population, I do not usually read. the council website, which does not have 'further information' as promised, refers to 10 or 11 monthly instalments. I wait to see if they can revise my direct debit without making a hash of it.

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  3. Thanks for alerting people to this change. (I actually read about it on Mr Mustard's blog.) As a Haringey councillor I was keen to see how we were handling this option.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Alan Stanton, Tottenham Hale ward councillor
    To: Members Enquiries, Haringey
    Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 1:14 AM
    Subject: Option to pay Council tax in twelve - instead of ten - instalments.

    According to the Barnet Blogger "Mr Reasonable", the law now allows residents to spread their Council Tax payments over twelve months. It seems to me this could offer some small but still useful help, especially to residents on low incomes and who are being hit by the various Benefit changes.

    However, I don't recall the publicity for this change in Haringey. My apologies for missing this. But could you please remind me - very briefly - when and how did we inform our residents of the change? Also, when is the closing date for a resident to give notice of their wish to change?

    Thanks for your help.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Paul Ellicott
    To: Cllr Alan Stanton Alan
    Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 10:37 AM
    Subject: Option to pay Council tax in twelve - instead of ten - instalments.

    Dear Cllr Stanton,

    Thank you for your enquiry below. For speed of response I thought it prudent to reply direct.

    From the 1st April 2013 Councils are now required to offer an option of 12 monthly instalments, although the 10 monthly instalment scheme remains. Whilst this is the first year that the option to pay over 12 months is legislated, we have previously offered this to residents via direct debit and to residents experiencing financial difficulty.

    We promoted the option to pay over 12 months on the front of bills, via the web and in the flyer sent to all Council Tax Benefit claimants in March. The flyer advised the residents to apply for 12 monthly instalments through an electronic form via the web. Alternatively, they could contact us by phone, in person etc..

    There is no closing date to apply but the instalments can only run to March 2014 so any new applications will cover the remaining months, therefore less than 12.

    I hope this answers your enquiry but please contact me should you require any further information.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Alan Stanton
    To: Paul Ellicott
    Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 1:46 PM
    Subject: Option to pay Council tax over twelve months

    Dear Mr Ellicott,

    Many thanks. This is extremely helpful. I particularly welcome the fact that a flyer was sent to all benefit claimants.

    Can I please suggest that the information on the website is expanded very slightly to include the information you've given me that people can request the change during the year.

    Also to make it clear that the option neither saves nor costs money, but simply stretches out the payments over twelve months.

    Thanks

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