Privacy notice - Council Tax

Who we are

We are a Local Authority established under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 and have our Headquarters at Scottish Borders Council, Newtown St Boswells, Melrose, TD6 0SA.

You can contact our Customer Advice and Support Service by email CustomerAdvice@scotborders.gov.uk or phone 0300 100 1800.

Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted using the contact details above or by emailing dataprotection@scotborders.gov.uk.

How we will use your information

The personal information we hold about you may be collected by:

  • online form
  • phone
  • email
  • a member of our staff
  • one of our partners

We will use your information for the administration and collection of Council Tax. Where an application is received for Council Tax Discount or Exemption your information will be used to allow us to assess eligibility and award it if entitled. Where an overpayment of Council Tax is made, we will use your information to refund the payment to you.

We are entitled to collect and use this information under its statutory duty to provide this service to you. We provide these services to you as part of our statutory duty under the Local Government Finance Act 1992, Section 93 for the setting, levying and collection of Council Tax and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. Without this information, we would be unable to undertake the administrative duties within this service, resulting in an impact to public funds and vital services.

We process personal data and special category data. Personal data is information which can be used to identify you such as your:

  • name
  • previous name
  • address
  • previous address
  • date of birth
  • phone number
  • email address
  • information about other people, such as agents who act on your behalf

Special category data may be used in connection with relief or exemption claims and includes information such as your:

  • medical/health information
  • criminal convictions/offences

We need an additional ‘legal basis’ in order to process special category information. The legal basis for processing your special category information is your information is of substantial public interest, according to the definition set out in the Data Protection Act 2018.

Who we may share your information with

Your information will be accessed by our staff who need to do so in order to provide the service described above. We are legally obliged to safeguard public funds so details will be checked internally for fraud prevention and verification purposes and may be shared with other departments as well as other public bodies for the same purpose. Information will only be shared with other bodies where we are required or permitted to do so by law. Potential recipients include:

Internally, where permitted by law

  • Sheriff Officers: where Council Tax debt is subject to a Summary Warrant, we use our Debt Management Partners Walker Love and Scott and Company. This information cannot be used by the Sheriff Officer for any other purpose
  • the Assessor for the Scottish Borders: the Assessor prepares the Valuation Roll, a list of all dwellings. The level of Council Tax chargeable is based on the Valuation Band of the property as determined by the Assessor
  • Scottish Water: we collect water service and sewerage service charges on their behalf
  • Audit Scotland: leads the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in Scotland
  • The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC)
  • other Local Authorities in relation to the administration and collection of Council Tax, fraud prevention and verification purposes
  • Regulatory and law enforcement bodies (for example, the Police) where necessary and proportionate to their investigations
  • Scottish Government requires statistical information at postcode level for the purposes of analysing how Council Tax is working (for example, in the take up of discounts and exemptions)
  • Office for National Statistics
  • our Data Processors - Civica on Demand
  • our External Printers - Xerox Business Services and Digital Printing Solutions and CFH Docmail Ltd
  • NEC Softwar Solutions UK Limited
  • Civica UK Limited
  • LoCTA Limited
  • financial assessments
  • where there is a requirement for translation and interpreting services we may share your data with any of the following as appropriate:
    • Language Line
    • Alpha Translating and Interpreting Services LTD
    • Scottish Borders Interpreter Agency
    • Contact Scotland – BSL
    • Royal Blind – Scottish Braille Press

Your information may also be shared and analysed internally in order to provide management information, inform service delivery reform and similar purposes to meet our duty to achieve best value and continuous service improvement.

In general we do not transfer personal data outside either the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA) and on the rare occasions when we do so we will inform you. we will only transfer data outside the UK and the EEA when it is satisfied that the party which will handle the data and the country it is processing it in will provide adequate safeguards for personal privacy.

Decision Making

We do not use automated decision-making processes. Some processes are semiautomated (such as anti-fraud data matching) but a human decision maker will always be involved before any decision is reached in relation to you.

Information you have given us about other people

If you have provided anyone else's details on this form, please make sure that you have told them that you have given their information to us. We will only use this information to contact those people to assess your own entitlement to this service. If they want any more information on how we will use their data they can see our privacy statement or email dataprotection@scotborders.gov.uk

How long do we keep your information for?

We currently keep your information without limit of time where you are, or have been, liable for Council Tax in the Scottish Borders. We have a project underway to implement the deletion of Council Tax information that we hold about you where your Council Tax has been paid in full. The project will determine the period we can retain your information. The full range of circumstances where we will keep or delete information is also being decided as part of this project and will be detailed here once the project reaches completion.

Your Rights

You have the right to request access to any personal data held about you by us. You can also request that we restrict the use of your information or even object to any further processing. You can do this by contacting the Data Protection Officer. We will respond to your request within 30 calendar days. For more information on your rights please visit our website or alternatively if you would like a hard copy of this information, please contact us.

How to raise a complaint

We aim to directly resolve all complaints about how we handle personal information. If your complaint is about how we have handled your personal information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer by email dataprotection@scotborders.gov.uk or phone on 0300 100 1800.

However, you also have the right to lodge a complaint about data protection matters with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who can be contacted by

  • post: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
  • phone on 0303 123 1113
  • website

If your complaint is not about a data protection matter you can find details on how to make a complaint.