WORRIED taxpayers have slammed the council after finding out their payments will be taken out early this month.

Bracknell Forest Council tax payments will be taken out today or on Friday, October 15, as a result of a 'computer error'.

This means residents who pay their council tax on the 20th of the month will have their direct debit taken out early.

One resident, who wishes to stay anonymous, contacted the News about the mishap.

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They said: "BFBC show their incompetence again. Council is taking funds without permission and contrary to payment authority granted when direct debit's are set up."

BFC explained they are 'unable to stop the payments' in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening.

They said: "The payments are being taken early as a result of a computer error. The fault has been identified but unfortunately too late to stop the payment.

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Bracknell Forest Council informed residents in a social media post yesterday evening (Wednesday, October 13) about the early payments. If this has resulted in you incurring bank charges, please email: revenue.services@bracknell-forest.gov.uk. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

As such, residents took to their facebook page expressing their fears at the payment being taken out early this month.

One person said: "Bracknell Forest Council not acceptable, I have had a very stressed out parent to sort out because of this... pensioners on low income can’t just find money a few days before they are paid themselves." Another added: "Not good enough.What about the people who don't get paid until then? If the payment bounces, its not the residents fault, its yours!"

One resident simply put: "This is totally wrong."

What do I do if a direct debit has been taken early?

  • You must be told about any changes to the amount, date or frequency of a payment in advance.
  • You can agree any notice period with a merchant (check their terms and conditions) but if no other time period is agreed it will be 10 working days. If you are not given the correct notice of a payment then you will be entitled to claim a refund.
  • You can get a full and immediate refund from your bank (also known as an “indemnity claim”) for any payment taken in error.
  • You can cancel a Direct Debit payment at any time before the payment is due to be made. If a payment is taken after you have cancelled it you will be entitled to an immediate refund.
  • If a Direct Debit payment has been taken in error you will be entitled to a full and immediate refund from your bank. To claim your refund:
  • Contact your bank in writing or over the phone to ask for a refund.
  • If they fail to give you a refund, contact them again in writing, escalating to your Branch Manager or Customer Service Manager and referring directly to the Direct Debit Guarantee.