March 4, 2022 2.50 pm

Thousands of taxpayers could face delay in £150 rebate as councils urge direct debit sign-up

It’s a move to help people with rising bills

Thousands of people in Lincolnshire could face delays in getting a council tax rebate due to be paid from early April.

The government recently announced the £150 rebate for those in bands A to D, as a means to help households with rising energy bills.

But figures from most of the councils in the county show at least a quarter of tax payers are not signed up to direct debit – which means they won’t automatically be paid the money and could face delays as authorities try to get in touch with each separate household to get bank details.

Councils are urging people to sign up to direct debits to receive the one-off payment as soon as possible.

Local Democracy Reporters asked all the districts to supply their current property estimates and the numbers of people paying by direct debit or not.

The figures cover all bands, A to H, but give an indication of how many people could end up missing out.

  • In East Lindsey District Council, 24,500 of the 72,000 properties in the district do not pay by direct debit – around 34%.
  • In the City of Lincoln, the figure is 21,860 of the city’s 46,860 properties – 46%.
  • South Kesteven District Council has 65,804 council tax payers, of which 16,967 don’t pay by direct debit – around 26%.
  • North Kesteven District Council estimates it has 53,330 properties on bands A to H, of which 14,467 were estimated not to be paying automatically. The figure is around 27%.
  • Boston Borough Council has 12,500 of its 31,000 properties – around 40% – not paying by direct debit
  • And South Holland District Council said 29% of its properties – 12,500 of 42,000 – were still to sign up
  • West Lindsey District Council was contacted but did not supply its figures

A joint statement from Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils said: “We really want to be able to process these payments as quickly as possible so to help us and you if you don’t already pay by direct debit please sign up at your earliest convenience.

 “We have seen many articles by Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, who supports this payment method and says it is the easiest, safest and most secure way of paying your council tax and the quickest way of getting your rebate by April 2022.”

For more information and to set up council tax by direct debit, visit your local council’s website.

Some taxpayers will need to use an application to apply for the rebate, while others will be contacted directly by their respective councils.

Authorities are also asking people not to get in touch if they don’t get their direct debit straight away.

A spokesman for the City of Lincoln Council said it may take some time due to the number of properties the council’s systems will have to go through.

The rebate will not show as a discount on households’ annual council tax bills and residents should pay council tax as shown on their annual bill.

Residents should only get in touch if they have recently moved and have not registered to pay council tax yet, or are moving to a new property on or before April 1, 2022.

The City of Lincoln spokesman added the team was “not yet contacting” bill-payers asking for bank details and asked them to be aware of scam callers prior to the rebate date.