Council Tax

Understanding your Council Tax bill

We send out Council Tax bills for the year ahead by the end of March. Here, we explain how your bill is broken down and what it means.

Here is an example Council Tax bill using sample data. We explain each numbered section in detail after the image.

Example Council Tax bill

What your bill means

1. General information

We might include links and information you may find useful here. For example, you may wish to set up a direct debit to pay your Council Tax or receive your bills by email instead of by post.

2. Date of issue

This is the date your Council Tax bill was produced.

3. Council Tax reference number

This is your Council Tax account number. You must quote this number if you want to speak to us about your bill. You will also need this to set up or access your Council Tax account online.

4. Online key

You will need the online key if you want to set up or access your Council Tax account online. You will need to type it exactly as it appears on your bill. For example, a capital letter must be entered as a capital letter. This key will change each time we issue a new bill so always view your latest bill for your online key.

5. Band of property

This tells you which Council Tax band the property is in. The band affects how much Council Tax you are charged. You can also use our postcode look up to check property bands and charges.

6. Property reference

This is the unique reference of the property that you live in. Each property has its own reference.

7. Address of property

This is the address of the property that the Council Tax bill is for.

8. Name and address

The name of the person(s) registered/responsible for paying the bill, and their contact address. The address shown here may be different to the property address on the right-hand side of the bill (number 7). For example, if the property is unoccupied and the bill is issued to the person registered for Council Tax instead of the property address.

9. Breakdown of annual charge

The annual charge for the property for the financial year shown, and also the percentage change from the previous year's charges.

It includes your contribution towards council services, Merseyside Police and Fire services. It also details the social care precept that local authorities can include in the Council Tax charge. This can increase by up to a maximum of 2% annually. Read a full breakdown of how the council's services are funded.

10. Charge for period

The annual charge for the property for the financial year shown. You must tell us if your circumstances change by using the contact details on the back of your bill. You can also tell us about a change online.

11. Discounts or reductions

This shows any discounts we've granted for the property, including exemptions, disregards or Council Tax Support.

12. Amount due

The total amount you have to pay for the year after any discounts, exemptions, disregards or Council Tax Support have been applied to your Council Tax account.

13. Payment instructions

How you pay your bill, for example by direct debit or cash instalments.

  • If you pay by direct debit, payments are collected automatically from your bank or building society on the dates shown.
  • If you make cash payments you must do so by the dates shown.

14. Council Taxed owed from previous years

If you owe Council Tax from previous years, the balance will be shown here. This will not take into account any payment you have made towards a previous bill after the issue date of this bill.

If you need to speak to us about making payments you can use the contact details on the back of your bill or contact us.