We administer the billing, collection and enforcement of council tax and any reductions or discounts you are entitled to.
Processing activity - in order to provide the service, it is necessary for us to collect and hold personal information about you. The information collected and held will vary and depend on the nature of the service. In general terms, we process personal information relating to:
- data matching
- general correspondence between you and us on matters related to the administration, billing, collection and enforcement of Council Tax
- investigating and if applicable, prosecuting for fraudulent activity
- correspondence with the Insolvency Service (see below)
Call recording - all incoming calls to our Council Ttax department are recorded via NetCall. If we call you (an outbound call), you will be informed if the conversation is to be recorded and the reasons for recording. Please refer to our Call Recording Privacy Notice.
Energy Bills Rebate (Discretionary Fund) - to provide some immediate relief for these rising costs, while targeting those most likely to require support, the Government expects us as a billing authority to provide a £150 one-off payment to a liable council tax payer (or a person who would otherwise be liable where the property is exempt) for every household that occupies a property which meets all of the criteria on 1 April 2022. We will use any relevant information which we hold about you to administer the rebate (for example to confirm eligibility or to make payments).
Information requirements - our processing activities may include:
- full name
- address including postcode
- date of birth
- telephone number
- email address
- move in date
- move out date
- forwarding address(es)
- local authority(s) details (where you have been identified as living)
- council tax number
- council tax band
- health information
- employer details
- income details
- expenditure details
- financial details
- Power of Attorney details
- additional occupants’ details
- liability order(s)
- direct debit details
- our on-line payment system (for the recording of your payment only)
Do you have to provide your information? - without the information we may charge you the incorrect rate of council tax and you may not receive the benefits, reductions or discounts from council tax which you are entitled to. If we ask you to provide specific information in order to assess the correct amount of council tax payable and you do not provide this information, we may prosecute you. Deliberately providing false information in order to avoid or reduce council tax is also a crime.
Lawful bases1- our lawful bases for processing your personal information under the UK GDPR Article 6(1)(c) are:
- our legal obligation(s) under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) (to levy and collect council tax)
- our legal obligation(s) for the administration of the council tax reduction scheme under S13A and Schedule 1A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992
- our legal obligation(s) for the administration of council tax under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended)
- our legal obligation(s) under the Social Security Administration Act 1992
- our legal obligation(s) under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007
- our legal obligation(s) for the administration of council tax under the Local Government Finance Act 2012
- our legal obligations(s) under the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020)
- our legal obligation(s) under Government grant/rebate funding initiatives (section 31 Local Government Act 2003 with ancillary powers confirmed by the Local Government Act 1972 section 111 and Localism Act 2011 section 1)
- Article 6(1)(e) UK GDPR & s.8(c) Data Protection Act 2018 - where needed for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest (under the above legislation) or in service to section 45A Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 (SRSA 2007) – ONS data sharing
- Articles 9(1) and (2)(g) UK GDPR - as supplemented by DPA 2018 section 10(3) & Schedule 1, Part 2, paras 6(1) and (2)(a) - processed for reasons of substantial public interest under the laws that apply to us (see above) or in service to section 45A SRSA 2007 – ONS data sharing
- Article 10 UK GDPR (DPA 2018 section 10(5) & Schedule 1, Part 2, para.6 - processing of data relating to criminal convictions and offences (including alleged offences), justified by justified by the Serious Crime Act 2007 or in service to section 45A SRSA 2000 – ONS data sharing
We have a Data Protection Policy that sets out how this information will be handled.
Joint Data Controller - the administration, billing and collection of council tax is undertaken by us jointly with Sevenoaks District Council under a collaborative partnership arrangement. We decide together all the purposes for using the personal information that we share and we decide together the broad ways in which that personal information will be used. On occasion, in accordance with section 6(2) of the Data Protection Act 2018, we may be prevented from sharing and/or delegating the exercise of our functions, thereby requiring us to exercise our functions as a sole data controller.
Data sharing 2- some of the information we hold about you may come from third party sources such as the Department of Work and Pensions and the Electoral Registration Officer. HM Revenue and Customs may also provide information they hold about you to us for the purposes of: determining an application for council tax reduction, reviewing or appealing a determination, preventing or detecting fraud or error in connection with a council tax reduction or as a result of an attempt to obtain council tax reduction fraudulently. We may share your information with for example:
- council department(s)
- other local authorities
- Cabinet Office (as part of the National Fraud Initiative)
- National Audit Office
- credit reference agencies
- health and social care organisations
The Insolvency Service may share your information with us (pursuant to the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020). As a creditor, if we are told by the Insolvency Service that a debt owed by you is in a breathing space, we must stop all action related to that debt and apply the protections. These protections must stay in place until the breathing space ends.
Sharing your information with the Office for National Statistics: an ONS feasibility study in 2017 identified the benefits of using Council Tax Data to help meet its transformation goals. As the required data is beyond what is collected centrally by any government department, ONS is therefore acquiring council tax data from every local authority in Great Britain. Our lawful bases for sharing your information with the ONS is as set out above.
We have a legal obligation to share information with the Valuation Office Agency and we share with and use enforcement agents during the course of enforcing council tax liability orders.
If you have given us your permission in writing, some of your information may be shared with:
- a named friend or family member
- support worker or other individual authorised by you to act on your behalf
We subscribe to a tracing system called LoCTA which allows us to search a subset of all subscribing local authorities’ revenues systems to trace individuals who have an outstanding council tax debt and to prevent duplicate council tax claims. We also subscribe to a search and trace system provided by TransUnion.
DWP has notified us that the Energy Bills Rebate (Discretionary Fund) (see above) will be classified as ‘local welfare provision’. This permits us to use [DWP’s] Searchlight for verification purposes, in order to administer the Government’s rebate initiative.
We may also rely on a number of exemptions, which allow us to share information without needing to comply with all the rights and obligations under the Data protection Act 2018. Please refer to the Kent and Medway Information Agreement for further details on our sharing arrangements.
Retention period - we keep your personal information for the minimum period necessary. The information outlined in this Privacy Notice will be kept after council tax liability has ended, after any recovery and enforcement action has been completed and the period required by us for legal and audit purposes has expired, unless exceptional circumstances require longer retention eg: a pending court case. All information will be held securely and disposed of confidentially.
Automated decision making - we may wish to establish that the number of individuals living in your household is correct through information received from a third party such as a credit reference agency. We may make automated decisions to end some time-limited discounts and exemptions and to determine your eligibility for a Single Occupier discount. You have a right of appeal against our automated decision-making.
Anonymisation - your personal information may be converted ('anonymised') into statistical or aggregated data in such a way that ensures that you cannot be identified from it. Aggregated data cannot, by definition, be linked back to you as an individual and may be used to conduct research and analysis, including the preparation of statistics for use in our reports.
Right to object - where processing your personal information is required for the performance of a public interest task (see our lawful bases above), you have the right to object on ‘grounds relating to your particular situation’. We will have to demonstrate why it is appropriate for us to continue to use your personal data.
Changes to this Privacy Notice - we review this Privacy Notice regularly and will place updates on our website.
Please refer to our Corporate Privacy Notice for further details of how we process your personal information and for details on your additional rights.
1Note that we may process your personal information on more than one lawful basis depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your information
2Note that we may process your personal information on more than one lawful basis depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your information
GDPR Council Tax Privacy Notice