Frequently asked questions
Each year we issue new council tax bills to all domestic properties in the city. You'll receive this by post, unless you have signed up to paperless billing in which case you will get an E-mail from us.
We know that our residents can have questions about their bill, so we've provided answers to some frequently asked questions here so you don't need to spend time calling us.
When will my bill arrive?
We will start to post annual Council Tax bills from Wednesday 8 March. Due to the large amount of bills we have to send out (around 115,000), these will be staggered throughout the following two weeks. Therefore your bill will arrive at any time after this date. E-bills will be issued by Friday 3 March 2023.
How do I sign up for e-billing?
Please visit www.stoke.gov.uk/myaccount and register for an online account.
I’ve signed up for e-billing; will I receive a paper copy of my bill?
No, you will receive an email notification advising you that your bill is ready to view. You will need to sign into your MyStoke account at www.stoke.gov.uk/myaccount and access your council tax account.
How do I pay my bill?
We have a range of payment options and dates to suit you and bills can be spread weekly, fortnightly or monthly (over 10 or 12 months). See how to pay your Council Tax for more information.
If you already pay by Direct Debit, you don’t need to do anything – we will continue to collect payments on the date shown on your bill.
How do I set up a Direct Debit to pay my council tax?
If you wish to set up a Direct Debit for someone else, you will need to fill in a Council Tax Direct Debit mandate form below and send it back us.
Can I pay on a different day of the month?
Direct Debits can be taken weekly on Mondays, fortnightly on Fridays or monthly (10 or 12 payments) on the 1st to 28th inclusive. We also offer six monthly and annually Direct Debit plans. To change the date or frequency of your Direct Debit instalment, please sign in or register for an online account at www.stoke.gov.uk/myaccount
All other payments (cash, card, online over the phone) can be made weekly, fortnightly or monthly (10 or 12 payments) on the 1st, 15th, 20th, or 28th of the month, as well as six monthly and annually.
Do I need to complete a new Direct Debit each year?
Direct Debits continue year to year, so you don’t need to do anything - we will collect your new instalments on the date shown. If your balance changes, we will automatically notify your bank of the new amount. We’ll also tell you about any change at least 10 working days before we request a payment.
Please note, if you pay by Standing Order instead of Direct Debit, you will need to notify your bank of your new instalments to change the amount you pay.
My account is in credit; can i request a refund?
You can request a refund of your Council Tax here, if you have overpaid.
My bill has arrears for the previous year; are these included in the current instalments?
If you’ve just had your new bill and it shows a balance brought forward from the previous year, please bear in mind that the bills are produced at the end of February. This means that anything you’ve paid since 23 February 2023 will not be shown.
The annual bills will only show payments received up to 22 February. There will a memorandum note at the bottom of each bill that has a balance outstanding for 2022/23 which will say… "As at 22 February your 2022/23 account balance is xxx…"
If you do have arrears, these will not be included in your new instalments. It is important that these are paid in full before 31 March 2023 to avoid court proceedings being taken.
My bill shows that I have court proceedings, but I’ve made an arrangement to pay already; what should I do?
If you’ve received a summons, have a special payment arrangement in place or have contacted us to arrange payment, then all you have to do is continue with your agreed arrangement. You will also need to pay the new instalments on your new annual bill.
I’m on a low income; how do I apply for Council Tax Support?
Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to some help. You can find out more about Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit here, including a calculator to see if you’re eligible.
Do I need to re-apply for my discount, exemption or benefit?
If you currently have a discount, exemption or claim Council Tax Support we’ll automatically apply this to your new bill. You do not need to re-apply. However, you must tell us within 21 days of any change in your circumstances that may affect the amount of Council Tax you’re liable to pay or how much benefit / discount you’re entitled to.
Why does my bill not show my discount or exemption?
This may be because we’ve not been informed about your circumstances or we’ve not received your details in time to update your bill. If you believe you’re entitled to a discount or exemption, find out if you’re eligible.
Why is there an Adult Social Care precept charge on my bill?
Stoke on Trent City Council charge for 2023/2024 has increased by a total of 4.99%, 2% of this increase is for Adult Social Care. Police have increased their charge by 4.83% and Fire by 4.85%.
Government legislation requires us to show a breakdown of this on the face of the bill. The 2% increase for Adult Social Care precept is worked out from the total City Council charge for 2022/2023, this is not a 2% increase of what the Adult Social Care precept was last year.
You can find out more about Council Tax charges here
Why has my bill increased?
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, The Police and Crime Commissioner and Staffordshire Fire Authority have increased their charges for 2023/2024. The city council’s element also includes a precept to fund adult social care. For more information, please refer to the full Council Tax booklet. Other reasons could be a change in your discounts or benefits if you’re in receipt of them.
How much has my bill gone up by?
A percentage breakdown of how your bill has increased will be shown on the front of your bill. For more information, please refer to the full Council Tax booklet
I’ve changed address; why has my bill been sent to my old house?
We will send your bill to the last correspondence address we have for you at the time the bills were generated at the end of February. If you’ve moved, you can tell us about your change of address here
Is my Council Tax band correct?
I’ve appealed against my Council Tax band; do I still have to pay my instalments as stated?
You must continue to pay as you’ve been billed until notified otherwise. If you’ve overpaid at any point, you’ll be entitled to a refund. More information about how to appeal against your Council Tax banding can be found on the Valuation Office Agency’s website
How can I contact you if I still have a question about my bill?
If you can’t find the information that you’re looking for, or still need to speak to us about your bill, you can contact the Council Tax team by signing in or registering for an online account at www.stoke.gov.uk/myaccount
Here you can inform us of any changes to your circumstances, such as address moves, view copies of your bills, sign up for e-billing or complete an online enquiry form in the 'contact us' section.