This privacy notice sets out how Merton will use and process your information under the Council Tax service.

What type of information is collected about you

In order to calculate Council Tax liability we need to collect information about, you, your partner and other adults that live in your household. This includes but is not limited to:

  • name,
  • address (current and new),
  • number of people who live with you in your household (for discounts and exemptions)

Why we need your information

In accordance with prevailing legislation, Local Authority Tax collectors are obliged to levy and collect taxes. The information collected is required so that we can fulfil that legal obligation. The legislation that requires Local Authorities to collect and administer tax from its residents is as follows:

  • The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
  • The Local Government Finance Act 1992

We use your information collected for purposes of administering Council Tax setting up your account for billing purposes, processing discounts, exemptions etc. This includes debt recovery and enforcement of debt.

The lawful basis for using your information

We collect and use information under one or more of the following legal basis:

  • Public task – we need to process your information to comply with the law such as schools admissions, waste collection, collecting council tax etc.
  • Legitimate interest – we need to process your information and share in your interests e.g. Safeguarding
  • Legal obligation – we need to share your information with public authorities e.g. HMRC

Who your information may be shared with

Internal to London Borough of Merton

We may share information collected with other departments in the Council, including:

  • Housing Benefits and Council Tax Support
  • Local Welfare Support and Universal Support
  • Financial Assessments Team
  • Housing Needs Team
  • Electoral Services
  • Blue Badge team
  • Adult social care
  • Schools admission (for free school meals)
  • Merton Enforcement Agents

This may be for help with an application for another council service – e.g. if you apply for one or more of the following; 

  • a Blue badge
  • a Disabled Facilities Grant
  • a Discretionary Housing Payment
  • help with non-statutory assistance (better known as supporting people services)
  • residential care
  • Domiciliary care - such as day care, home helps and meals.

External to London Borough of Merton

By law, we must share some information if we are asked - for example by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue & Customs.

We have a duty to protect public funds we administer, and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including and not limited to the prevention and detection of fraud, matching council tax and housing benefit data to the information you have given us and protecting public funds in investigating misuse of public money.

We will also use the information for the purpose of performing any statutory enforcement duties. We will make any disclosures required by law and may also share this information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing fraud or auditing/ administering public funds. We may share the details with other organisations that handle public funds.

We are required to share council tax data with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to help with the production of statistics related to the economy, population and society and to help with the Census. Details of the information we will share and how it will be used can be viewed on the ONS website.

How long we keep your information

We retain your information back to the start of Council Tax in 1993 because there has yet to be a revaluation of current bands. Therefore it is possible for adjustment to be required back to the start of the tax.

For tax payers who no longer live in the borough, we retain your information for six years after the last payment. If an account has an outstanding debt, we will retain your information for six years after full payment.

If the claim has an active fraud investigation we will retain all information until 6 years after the end of the fraud investigation and conclusion of court action.

Marketing and E-Newsletters 

We will only use your information to contact you about your Council Tax. We may occasionally contact you with information we think may benefit or help you, for example information about grants and services that are available. We will not however, pass on your details to any 3rd party organisations.

Business Intelligence, Profiling and Automated decision making

We do not use your information for these purposes in Council Tax. For details, please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice

Protecting your information

For details, please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice

How you can access, update, restrict, remove or correct your information

Generally speaking you do not have the right to be forgotten or to erase parts or all of the information we hold for the purposes described above, as we require this as our legal obligation to collect Council Tax.

For full details, please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice