Local tax service privacy notice

Ealing Council acts as the billing authority for the billing and recovery of council tax, business rates and business improvement districts (BIDS) debts, in accordance with the Local Government Finance Acts 1988 and 1992, as amended. You will usually have to pay council tax and/or business rates if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home, or if you are a ratepayer for a non-domestic rated property.

We use the personal information that we collect to fulfil our statutory duties as a public authority, under Chapter 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018, in pursuant to council tax and business rates administration and collection.

This enables the council to:

  •  maintain its own accounts and records
  •  administer the assessment and collection of taxes and other revenue
  •  administer all activities it is required to carry out as a data controller and public authority
  •  data match under local and national fraud initiatives

What kind of information do you collect about me?

The information that we collect and process for administering local taxation is: name, current address, other contact addresses, bank account numbers, household and property make up in order to accurately apply relevant discounts, reliefs, exemptions and disregards.

Your personal information is collected, for the purpose of delivering the services to you, from:

  •  application forms
  •  additional information you provide
  •  correspondence you send us
  •  electronic and digital submissions
  •  information you or your representative provides in respect of legal action
  •  information collected by our staff on the phone or in face to face interviews
  •  third party agencies eg Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), enforcement agents, public authorities
  •  external referrals to the council
  •  credit reference agencies

We may collect and process personal and special categories information such as:

  •  name, date of birth, address, gender, ethnicity
  •  health eg disabilities and special educational needs
  •  financial details
  •  employment and education details
  •  housing needs
  •  solvency status

What do you do with information about me?

Your information is entered on the local taxation databases and used to ensure accurate billing and collection of local taxes. In the interests of efficiency and to provide more integrated services, information provided for council  tax and business rates purposes may be shared with other departments at Ealing Council. The information may also be provided to other public bodies and agencies for the detection and prevention of crime and other statutory purposes. We participate in the Cabinet Office's anti-fraud initiative, known as the National Fraud Initiative.

How do I know the information about me is kept safely?

All the information we collect is stored securely on our IT systems and manual filing systems. We have strict procedures for the way this is done. All information about you is treated as confidential and with respect. There are also clear rules and guidance about storing, recording and sharing information.

We take information sharing very seriously. Appropriate council and health staff are disclosure and barring service checked. Any member of staff who is found to be breaking the rules will be dealt with through appropriate disciplinary procedures.

For how long are records held?

Records are kept only for as long as necessary, this is determined either by law or good practices. For more information regarding records retention, please see Ealing's corporate privacy notice.

Don't you need my permission to keep and share information about me?

No, council tax and business rates are statutory debts and as such Ealing Council, as a billing authority, is exempted from seeking consent from you under the Data Protection Act 2018, Part 2, Chapter 2, Section 7 and under Schedule 2, Part 1, Paragraph 2.

Although your information is confidential, we may have to share information about you/your family without your permission. Where this is necessary we are required to comply with all aspects of the data protection legislation.

We may need to share your information in the following circumstances:

  •  to protect you from harm, neglect, abuse or significant threat
  •  when you may need urgent medical treatment
  •  to prevent or detect a crime
  •  to protect public finance and prevent fraud
  •  to comply with a legal obligation

Are there any laws applicable in the processing and protection of my information?

There are a number of laws which allow for the protection, collection and processing of your personal information for this purpose, such as:

  •  The Data Protection Act 2018 and The General Data Protection Regulations
  •  Local Government Finance Acts of 1988, 1992 and 2012
  •  Freedom of Information Act 2000

Can I see the information you have collected about me/my family?

Yes, you can request a copy of the information held. This is called a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations which contain certain rights of individuals and their personal data.

For more information regarding your rights, please see the Ealing Council's corporate privacy notice.

Who should I contact if I want further information or to complain about the use of my personal information?

More information on how we use your information.

Ealing Council's data protection officer is Mrs L Cox, whom you can contact on: dataprotection@ealing.gov.uk or telephone 020 8825 5124 during office hours.