Recovering Council Tax

Missed or late payments

It is important that you contact us if you are having difficulty paying. It may be that you could receive discount or should apply for Council Tax Support. It may also be possible to make a different payment arrangement.

Receiving a payment reminder

If you do not pay your bill in full and on time, you will be sent a reminder.

The terms of a reminder are that you must bring your account up to date within 7 days of receiving it. If, in a further 7 days your account is still in arrears, you should pay the whole of the Council Tax remaining for the year and you lose your right to pay by instalments. If payment of the reminder is made you can continue to pay monthly.

Any further delay in payment will result in a court summons being issued at a cost of £60. This also means that the whole balance of your account becomes due immediately.

If you pay in full, including the court summons costs, nothing further will happen. The magistrates' court will be informed that you have paid and the case is automatically stopped.

If any debt remains on your account on the hearing day, the case will go ahead. If you agree that you owe the amount due on the summons, there is no need for you to attend the court. You only need to appear if you have a valid defence to put to the magistrates as to why you consider you are not liable. Please note the court is not able to take account of your financial situation or discuss payment with you.

In the vast majority of cases the magistrates' court will issue a Liability Order and an additional cost of £50 will be added to your account. We will be able to take formal recovery action to enforce payment.

We can use any or all (but only one at a time) of the following methods of recovery:

  • Attachment of benefit: deductions directly from Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Universal Credit or Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • Attachment of earnings: an order will be served on your employer to deduct sums from your salary or wages and pay it directly to us
  • Enforcement agents: who will write and call to enforce payment on you. If necessary, the enforcement agents will take control of your goods to the value of the debt outstanding, together with any further costs incurred including an immediate non-negotiable compliance fee of £75.

If these prove unsuccessful, we can apply for you to be declared bankrupt or committed to prison.