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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 27749
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have regularly paid council tax this year, one tenth per

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Hello
I have regularly paid council tax this year, one tenth per month, first payment was 5-May-2020.
My Council say I should be paying one eighth per month.
This is because they re-issued the demand in April because I had asked for the bill to be in my name
(previously the bill was in my wife’s name).
As a result of paying less per month than they have scheduled I have now had an "Overdue Instalments Reminder Notice" issued.Does the legislation enable them to arbitrarily apply an eight-month instalment plan instead of ten?
Thanks, Andy.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England - Northampton Borough Council
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: emailed them
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, that's all thanks

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years experience.

I am very sorry to read of the above. May I confirm if the council have cited any authority for the division of the bil as to 8 instalments please?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
They have not cited anything specific about the instalment plan; at the foot of the reminder is a generic statement "this notice is issued in accordance with Regulations 23 Council Tax (Administration & Enforcement) Regulations 1992 and Council Tax (Administration & Enforcement (Amendment) 1994.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I just had a pop up "It's usually easier to talk than type. With a phone call I can...". I'm happy to pay for the advice, and to talk, so long as you can provide written advice / outcome afterwards. Can you confirm this will be provided please.

Many thanks. Schedule 1 The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 provides that you have a statutory right to make payments by way of instalments in respect to council tax and that the number of instalments must not be less than 10. Therefore I am unsure of the legal basis for the council to seek to charge as 8 instalments - on the face of it this would appear to be contrary to what is provided for under the above, so the council would have to cite a statutory authority to support a legal right to do so. If they are unable to, which would be my expectation, the instalment schedule should be amended to reflect what is set out in legislation above.

If the council is unwilling to properly address your concerns, you can raise a complaint and escalate to the Local Authority Ombudsman.

The above has been further amended since to provide for a statutory right to pay under 12 instalments however this is only where you are liable for a full years bill so may not apply to this period where you have become solely responsible for the bill part way through the year. However it is something you could ask for in the next billing year potentially.

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