Council tax and business rates

What we do

As a billing authority we collect, process and store personal information about you in order to administer and enforce council tax and business rates. We also use the data in our council tax and business rate databases for other purposes, including the performance of our statutory enforcement duties and the prevention and detection of fraud.

Our council tax and business rates privacy notice is in addition to and should be read in conjunction with our corporate privacy notice covering all services.

What we need

We usually only collect basic personal data about you, including your name, address, and contact details. However, if you apply for a reduction, or there is a dispute about the council tax or business rate liability for your property, we may need to collect additional information such as details of your household or business circumstances, including special category information about your physical or mental health, or disability status, where appropriate to the reduction claimed.

If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, we will also collect some financial information from you.

If we need to take enforcement action we may require additional information, such as any employment or benefit details and household expenditure.

We collect information from you when you fill in one of our forms, or contact us about your property, either in writing, over the phone or face-to-face.

We may sometimes obtain information about you from third parties (including previous owners/tenants, landlords, estate agents and other council or government departments) where this is necessary in order to administer and enforce the collection of council tax or business rates.

Why we need it

We use your personal information in order to administer and enforce council tax under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and business rates under the Local Government Finance Act 1988. The processing of your information is necessary for compliance with the legal obligations contained in these Acts and other supporting Acts, Regulations and Orders.

Who your information may be shared with

We may share your information with other Council departments and connected agencies to the extent permitted by law. This will include the processing of your personal data if that is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. We will comply with the statutory Data Protection Principles and we may share your information for the following purposes:

  • The administration of justice (including the prevention or detection of crime, such as fraud)

  • The exercise of statutory enforcement functions (e.g. such as the investigation of breaches of planning control)

  •  Activities that support or promote democratic engagement

  • Where we are required to by law (e.g. such as where lawfully required to by the police or her majesty’s revenues and customs)

  • Improving efficiency and the standard of services we offer

  • Identifying and bringing empty homes back into use

For enforcement of council tax and business rates this includes passing information to debt collection agencies to recover any council tax or business rates owed.  We may also pass information to the Department of Work and Pensions or your employer where an order for direct deductions is issued.

We may also share data with companies who undertake data matching exercises to prevent and detect fraud, for example to check single person discount records against credit data agencies etc. We participate in the cabinet office’s national fraud initiative.

We may share your information for other purposes where you have provided consent, for example when making an application for a business improvement grant.

The Council sometimes works and shares personal information with third-parties to deliver certain services or carry out statutory functions on our behalf. All our third-party service providers are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with the GDPR regulations. We will always ensure that your information is kept secure, only used for these purposes and not disclosed further unless required by law.

On occasions, your information may be accessed by internal and external Information Technology (IT) support organisations in the delivery of IT support for both the IT infrastructure and associated systems, for the processes detailed in this privacy notice. Access by IT support will only be for such reasons as support and fixing any technical issues with software, and any viewing of data will only be incidental to these purposes.

Your personal data is processed (including storage) within the European Economic Area only. 

Examples of the organisations we may need to share information with are below, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Adelante – The Council’s IT provider for processing of council tax and business rate card payments may have to access the payment system on occasions where there is a fault or technical issue

  • BACS – Financial information for the administration of council tax and business rate

  • Banks – Payment processing and payment enquires

  • CAB & similar organisations/authorised representatives – With consent

  • Cabinet Office – Data matching under the National Fraud Initiative

  • Capita – The Council’s IT provider Capita may have to access the council tax and business rate systems on occasions where there is a fault or technical issue

  • Chipside  – The Council’s IT provider for parking permit verification for checking entitlement to a resident parking permit

  • Civica - The Council’s Financial System provider including payment and refund processing may have access to systems on occasions where there is a fault or technical issue

  • (Other) Councils – For purposes of council tax and business rate administration

  • Courts – For taking legal action for non-payment of council tax and business rates

  • Department Work and Pensions - For the purpose of enforcing a Court Liability Order to make an attachment to your benefits

  • Elmbridge Borough Council -
    Customer services
    Document handling centre
    Elections
    Elmbridge civic improvement fund
    Environmental health
    Finance
    Fraud
    Housing benefits
    Housing
    ICT
    Internal audit
    Legal
    Licensing
    LLPG & gazetteer
    Parking
    Planning

  • Employers - For the purpose of enforcing a Court Liability Order to make an attachment to your earnings.

  • Enforcement Agents – For the purpose of enforcing a Court Liability Order to recover payment under the Taking control of goods regulations

  • Gerald Eve – External auditors for central government to confirm compliance and signing off annual accounts

  • Health & Social Care organisations – As required and/or permittable by law for the protection and wellbeing of a person(s) 

  • HM Revenues & Customs – As required and/or permittable by law

  • IDOX - The Council’s IT provider IDOX may have to access the document imaging system on occasions where there is a fault or technical issue

  • Ministry for Housing Communities & Local Government – As required and/or permittable by law

  • MPS Marketing Services Ltd – The Council’s postal distributor will have access to your personal information for the purpose of distributing annual council tax bills

  • Office for National Statistics – As required and/or permittable by law

  • Ombudsman – For investigation into any compliant raised

  • Police – As required and/or permittable by law

  • Surrey county council – Verifying entitlement to school placements

  • Valuation Office Agency - To obtain or review a council tax band or business rateable value for your property

  • Valuation Tribunal Service – In relation to any appeal made

  • Wychavon District Council – The Council may use officers from Wychavon to process council tax administration

  • Other bodies responsible for detecting fraud or auditing or administering public funds 

How long we keep it

We retain data for council taxpayers back to the start of council tax in 1993 because there has yet to be a revaluation of current property bands. Therefore, it is possible for an adjustment to be required back to the start of the tax.

Business rate records are currently held from 1995.

We have legal authority to process your information; your right to be forgotten does not apply to these functions and services.

What are your rights and further information

Please refer to our corporate privacy notice

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