Council Tax explained
Cheshire East Council along with your town/parish council provides many of your local services. Council Tax helps to pay for these, along with the services provided by Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire Authority and the Environment Agency. These may include waste collection, highways, planning, social care for children/adults, education, libraries and leisure centres.
For details on how we have arrived at the Council Tax requirement for Cheshire East for 2021-22 and how your Council Tax is calculated, see about Council Tax.
You can see the police and fire authority budgets at Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire and Cheshire Fire Authority. Also visit the Environment Agency website for information in relation to Council Tax.
Further information about each town and parish council is available by contacting the relevant Clerk. Contact details can be found on our town and parish councils page.
Important Change from 1 April 2021
Additional 300% Empty Home premium charge
Properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 10 years or more will have to pay 400% of the Council Tax charge.
The charge will remain unchanged for properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished between 2 and 5 years (200%) and between 5 and 10 years (300%).
What is Council Tax?
Council Tax must be paid for most homes. There is one bill for each property, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, annexe, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented. The District Valuer has put each property in one of eight valuation bands, according to its open market value at 1 April 1991. The Council Tax bill tells you which valuation band your property falls into.
Who is the person responsible for paying the tax?
The liable person will normally be whoever comes first in the following list:
- Resident freeholder (owner/occupier)
- Resident leaseholder (tenant)
- Resident secure or statutory tenant
- Resident licensee (permission to reside)
- Owner (where no residents)
Joint owners, joint tenants and similar will be jointly liable. Joint and several liability applies also to the spouses or civil partners of liable persons resident in the same property.
You are “resident” in a property only if it is your main home. If a property has no resident, if more than one household lives there (i.e. bedsits), or if one of the residents is a minister of religion, the liable person will normally be the owner of the property.
Adult Social Care precept
The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)
The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its Council Tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016-17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.
Appealing against your bill
If you think your bill is incorrect because you are not the person who should be paying it, or because we have not given a reduction that you believe you are entitled to, you must contact us to us to let us know.
If we cannot reach agreement with you, we will tell you how to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.
Appealing against your band
If you think your band is incorrect you should contact the Valuation Office. If you make an appeal against your bill/band you must still pay your Council Tax. If your appeal is successful, you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid Council Tax.
Monthly instalments are due by 1st of each month if not paid by Direct Debit. Over 80% of our customers do pay by Direct Debit. Set yours up online now from a choice of payment dates.
If you ask for a change to your instalments, you must continue to make payments that become due whilst you wait for the amended bill.
What happens if my payment is late?
If you make late payments, you will lose the right to pay by instalments. You must then pay the bill in full. You may have to pay extra costs. See late and non-payment of Council Tax for more information.
Ways to reduce your Council Tax
Reductions are available for both occupied and unoccupied properties in particular circumstances.
If you are the only adult who has their “sole or main residence” in the property you may get a 25% discount. Even if you do not live on your own, you may still be entitled to a discount because some people may not be counted for Council Tax. There are also reductions for disabled people in some circumstances.
You might not need to pay Council Tax at all – for example, if all occupiers are full time students or are under 18 years of age.
If either you or someone who lives with you (whether adult or child) are permanently and substantially disabled, you may be entitled to a reduction if at least one of the following criteria are met:
- There is a room, other than a kitchen, bathroom or lavatory in the property, predominantly used by the disabled person (a room used as a bedroom or bedsitting room will not qualify)
- There is a second bathroom or kitchen, used for meeting the needs of the disabled person (a second lavatory will not qualify)
- There is a disabled person who needs to use a wheelchair indoors and there is space for them to do so
Help with Council Tax – are you missing out?
You may be able to get Council Tax Support even if you own your home if:
- You have capital below £6,000 if you are of working age, or £16,000 if you are of qualifying age for Pension Credit (you may still get help if you have more than this if you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit)
- You are on Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit or any other state pensions or benefits
- You are working and on low pay or you are on a low income
If you are of working age you will have to pay a minimum of 25% of your Council Tax, even if you apply for, and receive the maximum support available. The maximum support is capped to the maximum amount due to those living in a Band B property.
For more information about the scheme and how to apply please contact us:
Telephone: 0300 123 5013 (select Benefits)
Cheshire East online account
More and more customers use our online services to keep in touch with us. Online self-service is often the fastest and easiest way to:
- View your Council Tax account and bills
- Set up a Direct Debit or make a payment
- Change your address, update your details
- Claim or cancel a reduction
Register for your Cheshire East online account. Do it online 24/7 - Any time, any device, anywhere!
Cheshire East Council holds all kinds of information to plan and provide services in line with our official functions as a public authority.
Every effort is made to ensure personal information is kept safe and secure and is used for specific lawful purposes and only by staff who need it.
The council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers and the Cabinet Office requires us to participate in its anti-fraud initiative.
This means we will use the information you provide us for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies or internal departments where the law allows, for example for the prevention or detection of crime or carrying out of a statutory function, including the collection of tax.
For more information about how the council uses your information, including our involvement in the National Fraud Initiative, please see our privacy notice.
We are committed to treating people fairly, regardless of their disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, age, religion or beliefs. Please contact us if you have any concerns or need extra help.