Council Tax Service Privacy Notice

How we use your personal information

 
At West Somerset Council we take your privacy seriously and will only keep and use your personal information for reasons that the law requires or allows.  We are a data controller for the personal information we hold about you in relation to Council Tax administration and enforcement.  In order to comply with data protection legislation we want to be sure you understand how we use this information.
 
The purposes for which your data will be used are:-
 
  1. Ensuring that you are charged the correct amount of Council Tax.
  2. Ensuring that you receive any reductions that you are entitled to.
  3. Determining any appeals received against Council Tax liabilities including attendance at tribunals as necessary.
  4. Liaising with the Valuation Office Agency, as necessary, to enable them to maintain the Valuation List.
  5. Issuing accurate and timely Council Tax bills.
  6. Collecting, receiving and receipting payments made.
  7. Taking appropriate action when payments are not made on time, including the issue of recovery documents and notices and referring cases to courts as deemed necessary.
  8. Appointing and engaging agents and specialists in the enforcement of unpaid Council Tax
  9. Preventing and detecting fraud and error within the Council Tax system and/or Benefit system.
We must do this in accordance with legislation and so the processing is necessary for compliance with legal obligations.
 
There are very many different regulations covering the administration Council Tax.  The main rules are contained in the following statutes and subsequent amendments to them;
 
  • Local Government Finance Act 1988
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
  • The Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992
  • The Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992
  • Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007
  • Local Government Finance Act 2012
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Scheme) (England) Regulations 2012
  • The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013
  • The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014
  • The Taking Control of Goods (Certification) Regulations 2014
This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
 
We are required by law to hold and use some of your information for:
 
  • The administration, recovery and enforcement of Council Tax
  • Preventing and detecting fraud and error within the Council Tax system schemes or other areas.
We may share your information with;
 
  • Other agencies directly involved in administration, recovery and enforcement of Council Tax (this would typically be the Valuation Office Agency, Department for Works and Pensions and agents or specialists acting for the Council in fulfilling its statutory duty)
  • Employers when Attachments of Earnings are issued
  • Other councils or organisations as part of the national fraud initiative.
Otherwise, we will only share your data if you ask us to, if it is in the public interest to do so and if the law requires or allows us to.  Examples of where we may share your data are;
 
  • Notifying the Council’s electoral registration department of information which assists with the maintenance of the electoral roll.
  • Notifying emergency services of properties that become unoccupied and therefore at risk of fire or criminal damage.
  • Notifying relevant Council officers of properties becoming unoccupied, in order that they may assist the owner to bring it back into use.
We only keep this data for the time specified in our retention schedule or as required by law. 
 
Your personal data is processed (including storage) within the European Economic Area only.
 
Data protection law provides you with certain rights, however not all of these rights will be available to you in all situations, particularly where we process your information as part of one of our statutory duties.  Where we are under a legal duty to use data for a particular purpose you will not have the right to prevent it being used in that way.
 
A full list of the rights you may have, under data protection law, is given in the main privacy notice at the top of this web page.
 
If you wish to complain about how your personal information has been handled by West Somerset Council then please contact the Data Protection Officer at DPO@westsomerset.gov.uk in the first instance.  If you are not satisfied you can submit a formal complaint to the Council via our online complaints form.
 
Finally you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or you can visit their website at ico.org.uk.