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Council tax and business rates outstanding balance issues

We are currently experiencing a technical issue affecting the outstanding balance shown for Council Tax and NNDR accounts online. We apologise for the inconvenience and are working to fix this issue as soon as possible.

Your Council Tax bill explained

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The Council Tax you pay goes towards local services such as policing, fire services, education, parks and household rubbish collections.

Please visit how my Council Tax is spent for more information.

You can download a copy of the Council Tax leaflet for 2024/2025 (PDF) [375KB] .

Your new 2024/25 Council Tax bill

During March we will send out new Council Tax bills showing how much your instalments will be from 1 April 2024.

Council Tax is charged on most homes, and there is one bill per home. Each home is placed in a valuation band from A to H, based on the amount it would have sold for on 1 April 1991.

The Valuation Office Agency, not the Council, gives a valuation band to every home.

You may be able to appeal against the valuation band in certain circumstances, please visit The Valuation Office Agency for more information or call 03000 501501.

By law, you must continue to pay your Council Tax until a decision has been reached on any valuation appeal.

Adult Social Care Precept - 2024/2025

For more information on the increase to the Adult Social Care precept, please visit the Lancashire County Council information page for an explanation.

Council Tax spending

Preston City Council provides all of these services to you for £353.87 a year in Council Tax (Band D). To find out more please visit how Council Tax is spent.

Council Tax rates

For information on the Council Tax rates in Preston for 2024/25 please visit our Council Tax rates page.

Access your Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Business Rates or Council Tax account online

To access a service that lets you securely view your Benefit or Council Tax account, open a self serve account today. 

We can also offer Council Tax bills and benefit letters via email. You will first need to register with us using your email address.

You will be asked some security questions and also asked to enter the reference numbers of the accounts you want to view.

You will find your account reference number on your benefit award letter or Council Tax rates bill.

If you would like to receive your bills and letters by secure e-mail please contact us at

Paying by Direct Debit

Direct debit is the simplest and safest way to make payments. It is also the best and cheapest way for us to collect your Council Tax and Business Rates.

If you want to pay using this method you can set up a direct debit or complete and return the direct debit instruction on the back of your Council Tax bill.

Council Tax Discounts and reductions

Full Council Tax is payable where two or more adults live in a property. If you live alone, you are entitled to a 25% single person discount. However, you may still be entitled to a discount, please visit our Council Tax discounts and reductions section.

If someone in your home is disabled and the property has facilities designed to meet their needs, you may be entitled to pay less Council Tax, please visit our reduction for disabilities page for more details.

For properties that do not have to pay Council Tax please visit our Council Tax and empty properties page.

If you are a student or a student nurse you may receive a Council Tax discount or exemption, please visit our student Council Tax page.  

Empty and unfurnished properties could receive a 100% discount for one month then full Council Tax is payable.  

Second Homes

Second homes are charged to the full Council Tax level.

These are furnished homes in which no one lives.

If your second home is job-related, for example it is empty because you are required to live elsewhere in a property provided for you due to your employment, you will be charged at 50% of the full Council Tax.

Empty Property Premium

Preston City Council is committed to reducing the number of empty homes in its area.

Central Government has provided Council's with further powers to help achieve this. As a result, the Council has changed its charging policy in relation to long-term empty homes.

With effect from the 1 April 2019 an additional 100% Council Tax premium has been chargeable, making the total amount payable on a property empty more than one year, 200% of the full Council Tax.

With effect from the 1 April 2020, properties that had remained unoccupied and unfurnished for five years or more have been charged a 200% premium, resulting in Council Tax payable at 300% of the full charge.

From the 1 April 2021 if your additional property has remained unoccupied and unfurnished for more than ten years by the 1 April 2021, a 300% premium will be charged resulting in you paying Council Tax at 400% of the full charge.

If your additional property will have been empty for ten years or more at some point later in the financial year, an adjustment notice will be sent to you at the time the increased charge becomes applicable.

Empty annexes and property left empty by service personnel can be exempt from this.

Financial Information

Information on Preston City Council's spending and the requirements as the Council Tax Billing Authority can be found on how Council Tax is spent page.

You can find financial information on the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner and Lancashire Combined Fire Authority here.

Additional leaflets within your Council Tax bill will include:

Paying your Council Tax

Bills issued from 1 April (the start of the financial year) will show payments in 10 monthly instalments. If you wish to pay over 12 months, please contact us in writing before 15 April.

If you apply after this date, then we can only extend the number of instalments until March 2025.

If you think we have got it wrong

If our assumption about the Council Tax liability is wrong, or you think you may be entitled to any discount, exemption or relief, please contact us.

If you are no longer entitled to a discount, exemption or relief, or a smaller discount should apply, you must notify us within 21 days or may face a penalty of £70.

This penalty may also apply if your property is subject to a premium and you fail to notify us that it should not apply, or the amount is incorrect.


If you have been refused a discount, exemption or relief or do not think you should be responsible for paying Council Tax, you can appeal to us in writing telling us why you think we have got it wrong. Please write to:

  • Council Tax, Preston City Council, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 2RL
  • Email:

We will look at your case again and might ask for more information. If we don't change our decision and you still don't agree, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

If you don't pay your Council Tax

The Council Tax is a priority bill that must be paid by everyone who is liable.

If Council Tax is not paid as and when it is due, we will take recovery action which could mean costs being added to your account.

How we can help you pay your Council Tax

If you are on a low income, you should make a claim for Council Tax Support directly to the council.

If you are claiming Universal Credit the DWP do not pay any support towards your Council Tax, you will need to claim this separately from Preston City Council.

The amount of support you are entitled to will depend on your income and household circumstances, for more information please visit our Council Tax Support page.

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