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Council Tax Overview and Paying

Council Tax overview

Council Tax is your contribution towards the vital services we provide.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. Therefore we may share Council Tax information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds or where undertaking a public function in order to prevent and detect fraud. For further information see our National Fraud Initiative page.

What changes are happening in 2024?

Please read our Council Tax information and refer to the Police budget and Council Tax (opens new window) page on the website of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN).

What are the Council Tax bands and charges in the Borough?

You can find your Council Tax charge from 1 April 2024 by viewing the list of Council Tax charges.

Council Tax bands with 1991 property values and charge ratio against a band D property
Valuation bandValue of property on 1 April 1991Proportion (ratio) of band D charge
AUp to £40,0006/9
B£40,001 to £52,0007/9
C£52,001 to £68,0008/9
D£68,001 to £88,0009/9
E£88,001 to £120,00011/9
F£120,001 to £160,00013/9
G£160,001 to £320,0015/9
HOver £320,00018/9

Visit GOV.UK: Check your Council Tax band (opens new window) to confirm the band of your property.

For further statistical information regarding the Council Tax for 2024/25, see our Council tax statistics (2024/25).

Can I receive my Council Tax bill by email?

If you sign up to eBilling, your Council Tax bill will be sent to you by email rather than post, with the following benefits:

  • It is easier
  • You will receive your annual bill as soon as it is available
  • If your circumstances change, you will get your amended bill as soon as it is available
  • It saves paper, so is environmentally friendly
  • It will help reduce our costs, which in turn will help protect your community's services
  • It is free to use

If you have received your bill by email, please read our Council Tax information.

If you would like to sign up for eBilling, please read our eBilling terms and conditions and then sign up for eBilling.

Can I view my Council Tax account online?

Yes you can, using our OPENPortal: My bills and benefits service.

Log in to OPENPortal (opens new window) to access your Council Tax account with us.

If you have not previously used the OPENPortal service, click the Register for an account button and follow the instructions.

How do I pay my Council Tax?

Direct Debit

Over 29,000 of our residents pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit. Not only is it safe, secure and the simplest way to pay your bill, it can reduce costs for everyone. We have to pay transaction fees and charges for most other types of payment. If these costs of collection can be reduced, this will help keep Council Tax levels down.

We can spread your payments over 10 or 12 months within the financial year. If you decide to pay by Direct Debit you can choose to pay on either the 1st, 8th, 15th or 22nd of each month.

You can sign up online (opens new window) to pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit. 

Pay online, by telephone or by payment card

  • Pay online (24 hour secure internet payments service)
  • Pay using our 24-hour automated payment line, telephone 01493 846117
  • Pay by payment card at Post Offices - contact us for a payment card

Internet banking and standing order

You will need the following information if you use your internet account of if you set up standing order payments with your bank:

  • Account name: Great Yarmouth Borough Council General Account
  • Sort code: 20-99-47
  • Account number: 13775518
  • Bank: Barclays Bank plc
  • Branch: 40-42 Market Place, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1LX

Payment difficulties

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your Council Tax at any time and you have received a reminder or cancellation notice, please contact us straight away on 01493 846244.

If you have received a summons notice, please contact us straight away on 01493 846610.

Would you like free debt advice? Visit the National Debtline (opens new window) website for free advice and resources to help you deal with your debts. Our Debt advice page also gives useful information and links to other organisations you can contact for help and advice.

If I receive Universal Credit, does this affect my instalment payment plan?

Yes it can. Every change in your income that affects the amount of Universal Credit you are awarded is reported to us on a monthly basis by the Department for Work and Pensions. However small the change in your income is, your Council Tax Reduction is recalculated and a new bill is produced. This will also keep changing your Council Tax instalments to a future date.

If you receive amended Council Tax bills regularly, in order to keep up to date with your Council Tax payments and prevent building up arrears, please do the following:

  • Pay the instalment and amount due on the date shown on the bill prior to the new bill you have recently received
  • Then move onto the new payment amount and instalment dates from your new bill

If you have any queries please contact Customer Services on 01493 846244.

What happens if I don't pay my Council Tax?

If you miss a payment or pay late, we will send you a Reminder giving you seven days to pay. If you do not pay the first reminder on time, you will be sent a Cancellation Notice. If you pay the first reminder, but fall behind again, you will be sent a Second Reminder. If you do not pay the second reminder on time, you will be sent a Cancellation Notice.

A Cancellation Notice means that you have lost the right to pay your Council Tax in instalments and you will have to pay the full outstanding balance within seven days.

If you fail to pay a cancellation notice, we will issue a Summons Notice for you to appear in the Magistrates Court. This means you will have to pay any summons costs incurred.

If you are unable to pay the outstanding balance in full you can apply for a Special Arrangement to pay the outstanding balance by instalments. You can do this by completing our Special Arrangement form. Any Special Arrangement will be subject to a Liability Order being obtained and £75.00 summons costs will be added to the outstanding balance.

If you are unable to make payment or require assistance please contact Customer Services immediately.

If you don't pay the summons balance in full, or agree a Special Arrangement, the Liability Order means we are able to take further recovery action which could include an attachment to your wages or benefits. We could also use enforcement agents (we use Rundles, (opens new window) Rossendales bailiffs (opens new window) and Jacobs (opens new window)), issue a bankruptcy order or even summons for imprisonment to recover the money. If you contact us after you have been summonsed, we may be able to come to an arrangement.

I have already made a payment - how can I report this?

If you have made a payment that is not showing on your records after five working days, please complete this form so we can look into the matter.

What should I do if my circumstances change?

You must let us know immediately if there are any relevant changes to your circumstances. If you make amendments to your records, your details on the Electoral Register are not automatically updated. Please go to Register to vote (GOV.UK) to amend the Electoral Register. 

You must tell us if:

  • You move home (complete our online  form)  
  • Your rent changes
  • Your landlord changes
  • Anyone moves in or out of your home
  • You get married or change your name
  • Anyone in your household has a change in their income
  • Anyone in your household goes into hospital or prison
  • Anyone in your household becomes a student, starts work or changes job
  • Your savings change
  • There is any other change that may affect your benefit

We will let you know the outcome when we come to a decision. If you haven't given us all the information we need we may suspend your claim until we have all the necessary details.

Can I appeal my Council Tax band or bill?

Valuation Band

Visit the Government's Council Tax appeals (opens new window) page for information on Council Tax bandings and for information on banding and appealing your Council Tax band.

You can challenge your Council Tax band for free. You may choose to appoint an agent to carry out this work on your behalf.

If you choose to appoint an agent, you should be aware that there are a number of Council Tax agents operating around the country. Please see the Government's Council Tax and Business Rates Scams (opens new window) page for more information.

Liability, Exemptions and Discounts

You can contact our Council Tax team if:

  • You have been sent a bill but do not think that it is your responsibility
  • We have refused an exemption or discount and you still think you are eligible
  • You think we have calculated your bill incorrectly

We have two months to investigate your appeal.

Can I get help paying my Council Tax if I'm on low income?

Visit our Council Tax Discounts, Exemptions and Support page for more information.

Do I have to pay Council Tax on an empty or second home?

Empty and second home discounts are based on the property, not on the owner. When assessing how long a property has been empty, we disregard periods of occupation lasting six weeks or less.

See the table below for charges for empty or second homes.

Discount or charge from 1 April 2023

Property type

Discount or charge from 1 April 2023

Unoccupied furnished properties / second homes

0% discount (full charge)

Unoccupied furnished properties with planning restriction on occupancy

10% discount

Vacant property that: 

  • needs or is undergoing major repair
  • is undergoing structural changes
  • has undergone major repairs under six months ago

100% charge (no discount)

Please refer to LEVY charge below

Unoccupied / unfurnished properties for at least two years100% charge plus 100% LEVY charge = 200% charge
Unoccupied / unfurnished properties for at least five years 100% charge plus 200% LEVY charge = 300% charge
Unoccupied / unfurnished properties for at least ten years 100% charge plus 300% LEVY charge = 400% charge

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