Information about declined payments
We are seeing an increase in the number of payments being declined. This is often due to the additional security features the payment card providers are introducing to try to reduce fraudulent payments and protect customers from fraud. Please note, that the council does not have access to any information telling us why your payment was declined.
What to do if your payment is declined
Please contact your card issuer (which may be your bank or credit card provider) and ask them why the payment was declined. They will probably ask you a date and time you tried to make the payment and how much you were trying to pay. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer as to why your payment was declined, asking the following questions may help:
- Does my card have an upper limit on the amount I can pay for an online transaction?
- Do you try and contact me if the amount I am trying to pay online is above a certain amount?
- How are you trying to contact me – do you have my correct contact details?
- Was the payment declined because I didn’t have enough money in my account?
Your card issuer should try and help you so you don’t have future payments declined.
Find alternate payment methods
Direct Debit is a simple, safe and speedy way to pay your Council Tax or Business Rates automatically from your bank or building society account.
Once you set up a Direct Debit it will carry on until you cancel it, so you never have to worry about your payments being late.
We will tell you the amounts and dates of the payments. If the amounts change, for example when the new bills go out in March, we will give you ten working days notice.
You can set up your Direct Debit now, just have your bank details and Council Tax or Business Rates account number handy:
Protecting your privacy - find out how we keep your information safe.
If you prefer you can call us and set up your Direct Debit over the phone. Just have your bank details with you when you ring and we will set your Direct Debit up immediately:
- call 01246 345496 to set up a Council Tax Direct Debit
- call 01246 345138 or 01246 345171 to set up a Business Rates Direct Debit
If you prefer you can print a form and send it to us by post or give us a ring and we will send one to you.
Once it is set up, do I have to do anything?
No, other than making sure there is enough money in your account to make the payments. We will send you a bill showing the amounts and dates when your payments will be taken. It's worth checking your bank statement regularly to make sure the payments are being taken as expected.
What happens if a payment is taken in error?
All banks and building societies that take part in the Direct Debit scheme offer the Direct Debit Guarantee. This entitles you to a full and immediate refund if a payment is taken in error. All you need to do is contact your bank or building society (even if the error was made by the council).
Can I cancel a Direct Debit?
Yes, by contacting your bank or building society. Please also let us know so that we don't try to collect any more payments from your account. If you cancel your Direct Debit, your instalments will be due on the first of each month and you will need to make alternative arrangements to pay them.
Want to pay your Council Tax late?
Pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit and you can choose one of three dates in the month convenient to you. You can choose to pay on the 1st, 10th or 20th of the month. These alternative dates are available to Direct Debit customers only. This option is not available for payment of Business Rates.