Dear Editor, I refer to the letter from John Court published in the Post on March 31 (Pay your council tax, but ask no favours) and wanted to write to clarify payment dates for the council tax.

While it is true to say that people who wish to pay via a payment card are required to pay on the 1st of each month, we do offer a much more extensive range of dates for payment where customers elect to pay by direct debit.

In these circumstances we are happy to set up arrangements on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and even the 28th of the month.

The reason we are able to offer greater flexibility for direct debits is that it represents the most efficient and cost effective method for the city which secures the payment on a specific date and helps to keep the costs and therefore potential rises in the council tax as low as possible.

As your readers will be aware, most council tax instalments are paid over a 10-month cycle with no payments due in February and March.

The introduction of payments on the 1st of the month from two years ago was purposely timed to start with the April payment to enable customers to adapt their finances to the new date over this period, should they not wish to take up the direct debit option.

Chris Gibbs

Assistant Director Revenues and Benefits

Birmingham City Council