Privacy notice – Council Tax and Benefits

Your Personal Data

Our core data protection obligations and commitments are set out in the Council’s privacy notice.

This notice provides additional privacy information for:

  • people accessing the Benefits Service
  • people who are liable to pay Council Tax in Hyndburn
  • partners working with Hyndburn Council

It describes how we collect, use and share personal information about you

  • in relation to Benefits and Council Tax; and
  • the types of personal information we need to process, including information the law describes as ‘special’ because of its sensitivity

It is important that you read this notice, together with any other privacy information we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information.

The information collected and held will vary dependent on the service used.

What we need
We will only collect basic personal data about you which may include, but is not limited to:

  • full name
  • address including postcode
  • date of birth
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • National Insurance Number
  • employer details
  • income and capital (i.e. savings) details
  • other financial details
  • health / disability information
  • expenditure details
  • Power of Attorney details
  • information relating to other persons in your household
  • bank details
  • dates of occupation of your property
  • details of your landlord and the amount of rent paid
  • Your credit/debit card details for processing payments only

Why we need it
The Council uses your personal information in order to:

  • administer and enforce Council Tax under the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This includes:
    • collecting council tax under the Local Government Finance Act 1992
    • taking payments for council tax
    • processing and granting statutory and discretionary reductions, discounts and reliefs as applicable
    • processing changes in circumstances
  • administer and enforce National Non Domestic Rates under the Local Government Finance Act 1988
  • administer statutory and discretionary benefits such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, the Social Security Administration Act 1992, the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012 and Council Tax Reduction Scheme Regulations 2018
  • to identify and take steps to bring vacant dwellings back into use under the Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • to apply reliefs and rebates made available from time to time by the Council and / or the Government (for example in relation to Covid)
  • collect overpayments or incorrect payments of benefits or reliefs
  • prevent and detect fraud in order to preserve public funds

The processing of your information is necessary for compliance with the legal obligations contained in the council tax and benefits legislation. We may not be able to process your claim without this information and we may not be able to process your requests – for example applications for discounts or other reductions that you might be entitled to.

Legal basis for processing

The legal basis for processing your personal information is:

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • performing or exercising obligations under law e.g. calculating accurate entitlement to Housing Benefit in line with section 131 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority
  • fraud prevention

What we do with your information – who we may share your information with

Within the Council

Your personal information will be treated as confidential, but it may be shared with other Council services in order to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date, and to improve the standard of the services we deliver. We will only use your information in ways which are permitted by the General Data Protection Regulation and the current UK Data Protection law. We may share your information with other teams in the Council such as Council Tax, Housing Services, and, Audit and Investigations in order to provide our services, carry out public tasks, to keep our records up to date, for law enforcement and to protect public interests.

Outside the Council

We will not normally share your information with organisations other than our partner organisations; however, there may be certain circumstances where we would share your information without your consent, such as where we are required to do so by law or in the interests of public safety, and in risk of harm or emergency situations. Only the minimum information for the purpose will be shared. Where the law permits or requires, we may also share your personal information with:

  • government departments or agencies carrying out their public tasks, such as:
    • the Department of Work and Pensions
    • Her Majesties Revenues & Customs
    • the Cabinet Office in relation to data matching via the National Fraud Initiative
    • the Insolvency Service
    • the Valuation Office and the Valuation Tribunal Service
  • the courts and the Council’s collection agents / bailiffs
  • your employer
  • the Police in carrying out criminal investigations
  • other local authorities and billing authorities (which may include sharing information about suspected rate mitigation or avoidance schemes).
  • 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.
  • Any agencies where you have given consent for them to deal with us on your behalf e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau

If you fall behind with your council tax payments, our officers may need to read your application to assist you. We may also disclose information when necessary to prevent the risk of harm to an individual.

Where we process special categories of data such as disability, we will do this on the basis of explicit consent, substantial public interest or under social security law requirements.

We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal data. View more information on https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/privacy-notice/

This authority has a duty to protect the public funds it administers and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including but not limited to the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and money laundering and the matching of Council Tax and benefits data with other internal and external Government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC.

The Council may also use your information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties. It will make any disclosures required by law and may also share your information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing crime including fraud or auditing/administering public funds.

There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by Hyndburn Borough Council.

This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, access times and referring Web site addresses.

This information is used by Hyndburn Borough Council for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Hyndburn Borough Council Web site.

We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes.

Transferring information overseas

Your information will not be stored or shared outside the UK.

How long we keep your information

We will keep your information for as long as it is required by us or other regulatory bodies in order to comply with legal and regulatory requirements or for other operational reasons.

All paper records containing your personal information will be held securely until destroyed.

For further information on our policy for retaining personal information, you can request to see our retention guidelines.