Council Tax and Business Rates Administration

What personal data we collect from you

Stratford-on-Avon District Council collects 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.

The purpose for collecting your personal information is to allow us to administer and enforce Council Tax and Business Rates under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and associated Regulations.

We may sometimes obtain information about you from third parties (including previous owners, landlords and estate agents) where the law permits in order to administer and enforce the collection of Council Tax and Business Rates.

The amount and type of information the council collects for the purposes of billing, collecting and enforcing Council Tax and Business Rates will include:

  • your name, address, contact details
  • the people in your household to establish correct council tax charge and eligibility for discounts and exemptions
  • bank details if you pay by direct debit
  • your employer

If you cannot pay and need to enter into a special payment arrangement we will ask for details about your financial situation.

In some circumstances, we will need more details and sometimes sensitive personal information including Special Category Data about your household, personal or business circumstances, for example if you are applying for a discount or exemption for Council Tax or for Discretionary Rate Relief for Business Rates.

The information you give us when using our online payment system will only be used for the recording of your payment.

Our lawful basis for collecting and processing this information

The lawful basis for processing personal information is for the performance of a public task or in the exercise of official authority vested in us. Our lawful basis for collecting special category data is for reasons of substantial public interest. Council Tax is a statutory tax levied by central government on those responsible for domestic property and is collected locally by the council. If we do not collect data, the council will be unable to fulfil its statutory obligations to collect Council Tax.

Automated processing

The information we collect from you is usually processed by an individual; however, there are occasions when an automated decision may be made such as issuing reminders for payment and enforcement action for the collection of Council Tax and Business Rates. We have a statutory power to collect this money under:

  • The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulation 1992
  • The Local Government Finance Act 1988 and subsequent primary legislation;
  • The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989 and relevant subsequent secondary legislation;
  • The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Central Lists) Regulations 1989 and relevant subsequent secondary legislation

We consider that this type of automated processing is reasonable and the most appropriate way to achieve this purpose. We regularly review our systems to check that these are accurate and decisions are taken correctly.

Who we share your information with

We may share information with other council departments, partner authorities, organisations and service providers for the purpose of administering and collecting Council Tax and Business Rates. We will only share your information with an organisation where it is necessary for us to perform our function. In cases where more than one party is jointly liable for Council Tax or Business Rates, we may share your personal information with the other liable party for the purposes of determining liability and collecting Council Tax and Business Rates. We will only share information where it is necessary to do so, and we will ensure that appropriate safeguards and measures are in place to protect the personal information.

For Business Rates (Non-Domestic Rates [NDR]) we have entered into a shared service agreement with Warwick District Council whereby both councils have a single shared NDR team that delivers this service to residents of both districts. In cases where we handle personal data of Warwick District Council, we are the data processor. We have an agreement in place to ensure that personal data is handled lawfully and securely.

In some cases, we may share personal information with other council departments and third party organisations

We share your information with the Office for National Statistics (ONS). We do this as part of our Public Task and in the case of Special Category Data, for purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes. The ONS legal basis for acquiring Council Tax data is Section 45A of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 (as inserted by section 79 of the Digital Economy Act 2017). It permits any public authority to disclose to the Statistics Board (ONS) any information they hold regarding their functions.

We also have a duty to protect public funds and may use your information to perform statutory enforcement duties and data matching for the prevention and detection of fraud and/or crime. The council has a legal duty to submit information to the government as part of the National Fraud Initiative. We may also share your data where the law allows us to do so for the prevention and detection of crime, where disclosure is required by law or in connection with legal proceedings or where disclosure will protect members of the public from dishonesty, malpractice or other seriously improper conduct.

This includes:

  • other departments within the council
  • other local authorities
  • Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
  • Valuation Tribunal
  • Office of National Statistics

How long we keep your data

Records are kept wherever possible in accordance with the council's retention policy. We will not keep your information for longer than necessary. We will be implementing new functionality which will enable us to delete obsolete electronic data in accordance with our retention policy.

Council Tax began on 1 April 1993 and in some instances the amount of Council Tax that is payable can be reduced from this date. Consequently, in order that we are able to refund any money that is due, we keep the necessary records from this date. Likewise with Business Rates, backdated rateable value reductions require records to be kept from the year 2000.

Your rights

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests should be made in writing.

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate, you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.

You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to perform our statutory functions.

For full details on your personal data rights, please see the council's main privacy notice on www.stratford.gov.uk.

If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact our Data Protection Officer at data.protection@stratford-dc.gov.uk.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number. Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk.

Last updated on 27/11/2018

Contact the Data Protection team