Information

Council Tax Collection Statistics, 2020-21

This publication provides statistics on Council Tax collection for 2020 - 21 and earlier years. The statistics are based on aggregate returns provided by local authorities, who are responsible for the billing and collection of Council Tax.

This document is part of a collection


2. Council Tax collection rates

Table 2: In-year Council Tax percentage received, by year to which the bill refers by Local Authority 1
  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21a
Scotland 94.7 95.1 95.2 95.2 95.4 95.7 95.8 96.0 96.0 95.8 94.8
Aberdeen City 93.3 93.7 94.2 94.2 95.2 95.3 95.2 95.0 94.6 93.6 91.9
Aberdeenshire 95.8 96.2 96.2 96.2 96.4 96.1 96.1 96.1 96.4 96.3 95.5
Angus 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 97.4 97.9 97.7 97.6 97.6 97.8 97.9 97.8 97.6 97.4 96.9
Argyll and Bute 96.1 96.1 96.3 95.8 95.2 96.0 95.8 95.8 96.1 96.4 96.1
City of Edinburgh 3,4 94.3 94.6 94.5 94.9 95.2 96.4 96.6 96.9 97.1 97.0 95.7
Clackmannanshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 93.3 95.2 95.3 95.1 95.1 95.8 95.9 95.9 96.0 95.7 94.7
Dumfries and Galloway 95.5 95.7 95.8 96.0 96.0 96.1 95.9 96.1 96.1 95.9 95.4
Dundee City 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 92.9 93.3 93.1 92.7 93.3 93.6 93.4 93.9 94.1 94.2 93.7
East Ayrshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 94.2 94.3 93.8 93.7 94.0 93.9 94.1 94.2 94.1 94.0 93.2
East Dunbartonshire 96.6 96.6 96.6 96.2 96.6 96.7 96.8 97.1 96.8 97.0 96.7
East Lothian 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 95.3 95.8 96.4 96.2 96.5 97.7 97.2 97.0 96.9 96.8 95.5
East Renfrewshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 96.8 97.2 97.6 97.8 98.0 97.6 97.8 97.8 97.6 97.5 96.4
Falkirk 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 96.1 96.1 95.6 95.6 95.6 96.0 96.4 96.6 96.6 96.4 95.9
Fife 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 93.8 95.2 95.4 95.5 95.4 95.7 95.8 95.8 95.7 95.3 94.4
Glasgow City 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 92.3 92.6 93.1 93.9 94.6 94.7 94.9 95.0 95.0 94.4 92.1
Highland 95.4 95.5 95.6 95.5 95.2 95.6 96.1 96.1 96.1 96.2 95.7
Inverclyde 94.0 94.2 94.2 94.5 94.8 95.1 95.3 95.5 95.7 95.4 94.4
Midlothian 2, 4 93.0 93.6 93.9 93.5 93.8 94.4 94.5 95.1 95.1 95.1 94.2
Moray 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 97.0 97.3 95.6 95.1 94.4 95.6 95.9 96.7 96.9 97.0 95.8
Na h-Eileanan Siar 2 94.6 94.6 95.2 95.2 95.6 95.9 96.1 95.7 96.5 96.2 95.4
North Ayrshire 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 93.6 93.6 93.5 94.8 94.6 94.7 94.7 94.8 94.3 94.0 92.1
North Lanarkshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 94.5 94.4 94.0 93.6 93.9 93.8 94.0 94.2 94.1 94.1 93.3
Orkney Islands 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 97.6 97.5 98.1 97.7 97.8 98.0 98.0 97.9 98.0 97.7 96.3
Perth and Kinross 2, 6, 7 97.2 97.7 97.4 97.2 97.0 98.5 97.9 97.8 97.9 97.1 96.6
Renfrewshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 95.1 95.6 95.9 96.0 96.0 96.0 96.0 96.1 96.0 96.0 95.0
Scottish Borders 9, 10, 11 96.4 96.5 96.6 96.6 96.5 96.5 96.6 96.6 96.8 96.6 96.0
Shetland Islands 96.4 96.5 96.5 96.9 97.2 97.3 97.2 97.4 97.3 97.1 97.0
South Ayrshire 8, 9, 10, 11 95.2 94.8 94.9 94.8 94.8 94.6 94.9 96.1 95.8 94.9 94.1
South Lanarkshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 10, 11 94.7 95.6 95.7 95.7 95.8 95.9 96.0 96.2 96.2 95.9 95.6
Stirling 3, 4 97.4 97.3 97.7 97.7 97.4 97.7 97.8 97.8 97.7 97.8 97.1
West Dunbartonshire 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 94.1 94.2 94.4 94.5 95.0 94.4 95.1 95.4 95.6 95.1 94.2
West Lothian 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 94.4 94.1 94.7 94.3 94.8 95.1 95.6 96.1 96.3 96.4 96.1

Source: Up to 2012-13 - Statutory Performance Indicators published by Audit Scotland; From 2013-14 - Information supplied by local authorities to Scottish Government through the CTRR statistical return.

1 The figures exclude Council Tax Benefit/Reduction and Water and Sewerage Charges. They are before any amounts written off for bad or doubtful debt and reflect any correction to liabilities following billing.

2 For 2011-12; 3 For 2012-13; 4 For 2013-14; 5 For 2014-15; 6 For 2015-16; 7 For 2016-17; 8 For 2017-18, 9 For 2018-19; 10 for 2019-20; 11 for 2020-21: local authorities have reported collection rates on a 'line by line' accounting basis. Prior returns did not request this. a Provisional figures.

Table 2 shows the Council Tax in-year collection rates - that is, the amount of Council Tax collected by the end of the relevant billing year, as a percentage of billed Council Tax. In-year collection rates have increased steadily from 87.2 per cent for Scotland as a whole in 1998-99; to 94.7 per cent in 2010-11; to 94.8 per cent in 2020-21 which is a decrease from last year. The 2020-21 in-year collection rates have been affected by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as Councils suspended debt recovery process and actions to avoid contributing to financial pressure on Council Tax payers. Councils report that repayment arrangements have been set up in many instances extending over a longer period of time and in some cases Council Tax payers have arrangements moving into the current year with Council Tax recovery continuing. The longer-term trend may in part be due to local authorities' more efficient and timely collection methods (for example, increasing use of direct debit and other 'electronic' methods).

Improvements in the last decade are particularly clear for the local authorities which previously had the lowest rates of in-year collection. For example, the in-year collection rate for Glasgow City improved substantially from 92.3 per cent in 2010-11 to 94.4 per cent in 2019-20. However, as with all councils, their collection rate had dropped in 2020-21 and is now 92.1 per cent, the main reason for this is due to the delay in starting recovery procedures due to the pandemic. First reminders and the first summary warrants were issued later than usual. This delay in starting recovery of unpaid instalments affected the amount collected within the financial year. Prior to this year, variation of in-year collection rates between local authorities has been far less pronounced than in earlier years. The variations observed in collection rates this year are due to the impact of Covid-19 rather than any other issues.

The trends described above are illustrated in Chart 2, which shows the gradually increasing in-year collection rate for Scotland and the reduction in variation between collection rates for individual local authorities.

Chart 2: In-year Council Tax percentage received, by year to which the bill refers – Scotland, and minimum and maximum for Local Authorities
Line chart showing in-year council tax percentage for Scotland, by the year to which the bill refers including the minimum and maximum percentage for local authorities
Table 3: Percentage of Council Tax received as at 31 March 2020, by year to which the bill refers and Local Authority 1
Year to which bill refers
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Scotland 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.4 97.3 97.1 97.1 96.8 96.3 94.8
Aberdeen City 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.7 97.4 97.3 97.3 96.7 95.7 91.9
Aberdeenshire 98.8 98.8 98.8 98.7 98.6 98.4 98.1 97.9 97.7 97.2 95.5
Angus 2 99.0 99.4 99.1 98.9 98.9 98.9 98.9 98.6 98.2 97.8 96.9
Argyll & Bute 98.2 98.2 98.4 98.3 97.8 97.7 97.4 97.4 97.5 97.2 96.1
City of Edinburgh 97.0 97.0 97.0 97.3 97.5 97.4 97.1 97.3 97.1 96.6 95.7
Clackmannanshire 2 98.1 98.2 98.1 98.1 98.2 98.1 97.7 97.5 97.1 96.4 94.7
Dumfries & Galloway 98.2 98.3 98.3 98.2 98.1 97.8 97.7 97.7 97.2 96.7 95.4
Dundee City 2 97.3 97.3 97.2 96.8 96.5 96.4 96.3 96.3 96.0 95.4 93.7
East Ayrshire 2 98.7 98.4 98.5 98.2 98.2 97.7 97.1 96.7 96.4 95.4 93.2
East Dunbartonshire 98.6 98.5 98.5 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.3 98.2 97.9 97.6 96.7
East Lothian 2 98.1 98.2 98.2 98.1 98.2 99.2 98.7 98.2 97.7 97.1 95.5
East Renfrewshire 2 98.7 99.4 99.2 99.3 99.2 99.0 98.8 98.8 98.6 98.1 96.4
Falkirk 2 98.3 98.3 98.1 97.9 98.0 98.0 98.0 98.0 97.7 97.2 95.9
Fife 2 97.8 97.9 98.0 97.9 97.6 97.5 97.3 97.1 96.9 96.2 94.4
Glasgow City 2 94.7 94.8 94.8 95.1 95.1 95.0 94.9 95.2 95.0 94.0 92.1
Highland 98.4 98.4 98.4 98.1 97.8 97.7 97.7 97.6 97.4 97.1 95.7
Inverclyde 97.1 97.2 97.2 97.1 97.2 97.3 96.9 97.0 96.6 95.8 94.4
Midlothian 96.3 96.8 97.0 96.8 96.6 96.9 96.7 96.8 96.7 96.3 94.2
Moray 2 99.0 98.9 98.7 98.3 97.8 98.3 97.9 98.1 98.0 97.6 95.8
Na h-Eileanan Siar 98.5 98.5 98.5 98.4 98.5 98.3 98.1 98.0 98.0 97.4 95.4
North Ayrshire 2 96.8 96.7 96.6 97.6 97.4 97.1 96.6 96.3 95.5 94.7 92.1
North Lanarkshire 2 96.7 96.4 96.3 96.0 95.8 95.6 95.5 95.7 95.3 95.1 93.3
Orkney Islands 2 99.5 99.4 99.4 99.4 99.4 99.3 99.1 99.0 98.7 98.3 96.3
Perth & Kinross 98.2 98.2 98.4 98.6 98.4 98.2 98.1 97.9 97.6 97.0 96.6
Renfrewshire 2 97.3 97.3 97.7 97.1 96.6 96.3 96.2 96.2 96.1 96.0 95.0
Scottish Borders2 97.8 98.0 98.0 98.0 97.8 97.7 97.8 97.6 97.9 97.4 96.0
Shetland Islands 99.5 99.5 99.5 99.4 99.4 99.3 99.1 98.8 98.6 98.0 97.0
South Ayrshire2 98.0 98.0 97.8 97.7 97.7 97.4 97.5 97.4 96.9 95.8 94.1
South Lanarkshire 2 97.3 98.0 98.0 98.0 97.9 97.8 97.6 97.6 97.3 96.6 95.6
Stirling 98.9 98.8 98.9 98.8 98.8 98.9 98.9 98.8 98.7 98.5 97.1
West Dunbartonshire 2 95.5 95.0 94.8 94.3 93.7 93.3 92.8 92.5 91.8 90.7 94.2
West Lothian 2 97.0 97.0 96.7 96.5 96.6 96.8 96.9 96.9 96.8 96.3 96.1

Source: Information supplied by local authorities to the Scottish Government on the CTRR statistical return.

1 All figures are net of discounts (e.g. single person discount), exemptions and surcharges. The figures exclude Council Tax Benefit/Reduction and Water and Sewerage Charges. They are before any amounts written off for bad or doubtful debt and reflect any correction to liabilities following billing.

2 These local authorities have reported their collection rates on a 'line by line' accounting basis. Statistical collections prior to 2011-12 did not ask for this information.Table 3 shows the percentage of Council Tax for specific billing years, received by 31 March 2021. For 2020-21 this is the same as the in-year collection rate but, for other years, this includes late payments collected and adjustments to previous years bills in years after the billing year. For the earlier years, it is unlikely that much more Council Tax will be collected - hence, for these years, the percentages received are converging towards final collection rates. Previous research has indicated that deprivation is linked to non-payment of Council Tax and this is likely to be a factor in variations between local authorities of these near-final collection rates for earlier years.

Table 4 gives a further representation of improvements in the in-year collection rate over the last decade, from 94.7 per cent for Scotland as a whole in 2010-11 to 96.0 per cent or just under in the years 2016-17 to 2019-20. The 2020-21 in-year collection rate is 94.8 per cent which is at the levels previously seen in 2010-11 however collection rates this year have been adversely impacted by measures put in place to provide support to Council Tax payers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Correspondingly, the percentages of Council Tax being collected aftereach billing year have fallen sharply, from 2.7 per cent for the 2010-11 billing year to 0.5 per cent for the 2019-20 billing year. This pattern is a direct consequence of two factors – there is less Council Tax still left to collect, and less time has elapsed to collect it in (e.g. the 0.5 per cent collected after 2019-20 is over a period of one year only).

Table 5 shows an alternative presentation of in-year and subsequent collection rates. The upper diagonal shows the in-year collection rate for Scotland as a whole and the table should be read by selecting a column and reading downwards. For example, for billing year 2010-11 (the left-most column of figures) the in-year collection rate was 94.7 per cent. By the end of the next year (2011-12), the collection rate had risen to 95.9 per cent. It had risen to 96.3 per cent by the end of 2012-13, then more slowly to 97.5 per cent by 2020-21. This pattern is shown in Chart 3.

Taking these collection rates together, the overall pattern for Scotland is:

  • In-year collection is now well over 95 per cent, with the exception of this year when the collection rate has dipped below 95 per cent due to being adversely impacted by measures put in place to support Council Tax payers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • A further 0.5 per cent or so is collected in the following year.
  • 'Final' collection rate can reasonably be expected to exceed 97 per cent.
Chart 3: 2010-11 Council Tax percentage received as at 31 March each year
Line chart showing 2010-11 council tax percentage received as at 31 March each year from 2010-11 to 2020-21
Table 4: In-year Council Tax percentage received and total Council Tax percentage received as at 31 March 2021, by year to which the bill refers 1
  Year to which bill refers
  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Percentage collected
in billing year
94.7 95.1 95.2 95.2 95.4 95.7 95.8 96.0 96.0 95.8 94.8
Percentage collected after billing year 2.7 2.4 2.4 2.3 2.0 1.6 1.3 1.1 0.8 0.5 0.0
Percentage received as at 31 March 2021 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.4 97.3 97.1 97.1 96.8 96.3 94.8

Source: In-year to 2012-13 – Statutory Performance Indicators published by Audit Scotland; Otherwise information supplied by local authorities to Scottish Government on the CTRR statistical return.

1 All figures are net of discounts (e.g. single person discount), exemptions and surcharges. The figures exclude Council Tax Benefit/Reduction and Water and Sewerage Charges. They are before any amounts written off for bad or doubtful debt and reflect any correction to liabilities following billing.

Table 5: Percentage of Council Tax received as at 31 March each year, by year to which the bill refers 1
    2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Percentage received as at year end (31 March) 2010-11 94.7
2011-12 95.9 95.1
2012-13 96.3 96.0 95.2
2013-14 96.5 96.4 96.1 95.2
2014-15 96.8 96.7 96.5 96.2 95.4
2015-16 96.9 96.9 96.8 96.6 96.3 95.7
2016-17 97.1 97.1 97.0 96.8 96.7 96.4 95.8
2017-18 97.2 97.2 97.2 97.1 96.9 96.7 96.4 96.0
2018-19 97.3 97.3 97.3 97.2 97.1 97.0 96.7 96.6 96.0
2019-20 97.4 97.5 97.4 97.4 97.3 97.2 97.0 96.9 96.5 95.8
2020-21 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.5 97.4 97.3 97.1 97.1 96.8 96.3 94.8

Source: In-year to 2012-13 – Statutory Performance Indicators published by Audit Scotland; Otherwise information supplied by local authorities to Scottish Government on the CTRR statistical return.

1 All figures are net of discounts (e.g. single person discount), exemptions and surcharges. The figures exclude Council Tax Benefit/Reduction and Water and Sewerage Charges. They are before any amounts written off for bad or doubtful debt and reflect any correction to liabilities following billing.

Contact

Email: maria.melling@gov.scot

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