Your guide to council tax

Paying your bills

This guide provides information about your Council Tax and the discounts, disregards and Council Tax Support to which you may be entitled. It should not be regarded as an exhaustive guide. If you would like further information or clarification of any points please contact either the Customer Services or Benefits Service at the Council. Contact details can be found online and on your bill.

Paying your bill

Who has to pay the bill?

Every household will receive a Council Tax bill. The bill will normally be paid by a resident freeholder, leaseholder, tenant, licensee or any other resident, with this order being the order of responsibility for payment. If there is more than one person with the same level of responsibility, they are jointly responsible for the full amount of the tax. Same-sex civil partners are jointly liable to pay Council Tax in the same way as married couples. Where a property is occupied by more than one household and residents pay rent separately, such as in hostels or bed sits, the landlord is responsible for paying the tax. Council Tax for unoccupied properties is the responsibility of the owner, i.e. a person who holds the freehold or has a leasehold interest of six months or more.

How can I pay my bill?

Direct Debit

You can set up a direct debit online or call 01932 838383 and it can be set up over the phone. You will need your Council Tax account number and your bank details. If you are an existing customer and paid by Direct Debit last year we will continue to take payments unless you advise us otherwise. There is no charge for this service.

By phone or online

You can pay by credit or debit card using our 24-hour automated payment line by calling 01932 425030 or 425031 or by paying online at There is no charge for debit or credit card payments.

Using banking services

You can make payments by telephone or online banking services offered by your bank or building society or by BACS. Please ensure that you quote your account reference as shown on your bill, along with our bank details as follows:

Bank name: Lloyds Bank

Account name: Runnymede Borough Council

Account number: 11208060

Sort code: 30-80-12

Post Offices and PayPoint outlets

You are able to take your Council Tax bill into any Post Office or shop offering the PayPoint facility. Your bill is printed with a bar code unique to you. Post Offices will accept cash, cheques and debit cards; PayPoint outlets will only accept cash. At present, there is no fee to the payer for this service. You can find your nearest PayPoint site online

When does Council Tax have to be paid?

Your instalment plan is shown on the front of your bill and states the amounts payable. A full year’s Council Tax is payable over 10 monthly instalments if the bill is issued on or before 30 April. Payments are usually due from 1 April to 1 January and must be paid on or before the first of each month. You can pay by 12 monthly instalments if you apply in writing before 15 April. The first instalment must still be paid in April.

Half yearly payments

If you wish to pay twice a year, please pay April to August instalments on or before 1 April and September to January instalments on or before 1 September.


If you wish to pay your instalments on any day other than the first day of each month, you MUST pay a month in advance (the first payment should be paid in March) so that payment reaches the Council on or before the due date.

Late or non-payment

If your payment is late, you may receive a reminder shortly after the due date. Please note that no more than two reminder notices are issued in one year. If you do not bring your instalments up-to-date, or if you continue to make late payments in following months, we will withdraw the instalment facility and demand settlement of the year’s Council Tax immediately.

Recovery action

In fairness to the majority of payers who do pay on time, we will take legal proceedings against those who do not pay on time. If we do take action, we will make an application for a Liability Order at a Magistrates Court, which will entitle the Council to:

  • instruct an enforcement agent to recover the debt; or
  • order an employer to make deductions from earnings; or
  • apply for part of any Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Pension Credits, to be paid directly to the Council; or
  • begin bankruptcy proceedings against the debtor or make a charge upon the debtor’s home (if he/she owns it).

We may also apply for the debtor to be committed to prison for up to three months if the reason for non-payment is wilful refusal or due to culpable neglect.

View your Council Tax online

You are now able to view the details of your Council Tax account online. You will first need to register for a Runnymede OneAccount and then add the Council Tax service to your account. You will be able to see at a glance your charge, payments and outstanding balance. There is also the facility to sign-up for paperless e-billing so that you can see your instalment plan and any changes in the amount you have to pay whether you are at home or on the go.

People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you, need a room, or an extra bathroom or kitchen or extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability, for example the use of a wheelchair, you may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax bill. The disabled person may be a child. The bill will be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band your property is in, or by one-ninth if your home is in band A. The reduction ensures that disabled people do not pay more tax on account of space needed because of a disability. If you would like further information, please contact us on 01932 838383.

Exempt properties

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax if they fall into one or more of the following classes:

A    an exemption abolished from 1 April 2013

B     properties unoccupied and owned by a charity are exempt for up to 6 months, after which full Council Tax is payable

C     exemption abolished from 1 April 2013

D     properties left unoccupied by someone who has gone to prison or another place of detention

E     properties left unoccupied by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or home

F     unoccupied properties awaiting probate or letters of administration to be granted are exempt for up to 6 months after grant of probate

G    unoccupied properties where occupation is prohibited by law because of action taken by a public authority

H     unoccupied properties kept empty for future occupation by minister of religion

I      properties left unoccupied by a person who has gone to live elsewhere (not a hospital or care home) to receive care because of old age, disability, illness, drug or alcohol dependency

J      properties left unoccupied by a person who has moved to provide personal care to another person

K     property left unoccupied by a student who owns the property

L     unoccupied property that has been repossessed by the mortgagee

M    student halls of residence

N    properties occupied solely by full time students or by partners who are not British Citizens and who by law are not permitted to work or claim benefits

O    armed forces’ accommodation and married quarters (contribution to the cost of local authorities are received through a special arrangement)

P     properties occupied by members and dependants of visiting forces

Q    property left unoccupied by a person who is bankrupt and is the responsibility of a bankrupt’s trustee

R     a caravan pitch or mooring not occupied by a caravan or boat

S     properties lived in only by people under the age of 18

T     unoccupied annexe forming part of another property which cannot be let separately, without a breach of planning restrictions

U    properties occupied solely by those who are severely mentally impaired

V    properties occupied by diplomats as their main UK residence

W   separate annexes (often called ‘granny flats’) lived in by a person who is related to the people living in the rest of the property and is 65 or over, or severely mentally impaired or permanently disabled


Get in touch about council tax

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.