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Council Tax Recovery

What happens if I don’t pay on time?

All taxpayers have the right to pay their Council Tax by monthly instalments.  That right may be lost if payments are not made in accordance with the instructions on the bill.

If you fail to pay your instalments by the due date shown on the bill, we will send you a reminder notice and you will have seven days to bring your payments up to date.  If you pay the overdue instalments within seven days you can continue to pay monthly; but if you don't you will lose the right to pay by monthly instalments. The remainder of the year's charge will become due, in full.

What if I pay the overdue instalments but then fall behind again?

The regulations only allow for you to receive two reminder notices in a tax year.  If you fall behind for a third time you automatically lose the right to pay monthly.

If you fail to comply with the reminder or final notice, it will lead to the issue of a summons by the Magistrates Court and associated costs of £80.00.

Unless we receive the full payment, we will apply to the Court for a Liability Order. 

The Liability Order will allow the Council to:

  • Ask your employer to deduct the debt from your earnings based on regulations set by the Government
  • Use Enforcement Agents, resulting in additional costs being incurred
  • Ask the Benefit Agency to make payments direct to the Council if you are getting Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credits.
  • Start bankruptcy proceedings against you
  • Obtain a Charging Order against your property and may seek to enforce the sale of the property
  • Committal proceedings.

If I get into payment difficulties can I get help?

If you can’t make a payment when it is due, contact the Revenues Enforcement Team on 01623 457325 as soon as possible.  We understand that people have financial problems from time to time and if you contact us we will deal with each case individually and take account of your circumstances. We will also do our best to make sure that you are claiming all of the Council Tax Discounts and Council Tax Support that you are entitled to.

If you are having difficulties, paying your council tax bill you can apply to have your council tax reduced under the Council Tax Discretionary Discount Scheme.  As there are no set conditions for awarding a reduction under this scheme, we consider all applications individually and take account of the details of the case.

We will need a range of information from you to help us make a decision including:

  • Details of why you are unable to pay your council tax bill
  • Details of household income and expenditure (all household members)
  • savings and investments (claimant and partner)
  • if you have received debt or benefits advice
  • Any other factors that we need to be aware of when considering your application

For more information, please see our Council Tax discretionary reduction policy s13a.