Difficulty Paying Council Tax

If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax, contact us straight away. We will do our best to help you. 

You can contact us by telephone on 01590 646111 or by email to counciltax@nfdc.gov.uk.

Helping you pay Council Tax

To prevent any problems, you should ensure you pay your Council Tax on time.  If you begin to have difficulty with payments, we can offer options that could help you. 

Not paying your Council Tax

If you do not pay your Council Tax, we will take the following measures.

Send a reminder

If you miss a Council Tax instalment, you will get a reminder notice that gives you seven days to bring your payments up to date. 

If you do not pay within this time, the full amount of Council Tax becomes due after a further seven days.

If you receive a second reminder and then miss another instalment, the full amount of Council Tax becomes due.

It is important that you do not ignore the reminder notice. If we have to continue with recovery, you may have to pay extra costs.

Send a final notice

If you pay late and receive a final notice, you lose your right to pay by instalments and the full amount of Council Tax becomes due. 

If you do not pay the amount outstanding, or fail to make an acceptable payment arrangement with us, we will continue with the recovery process.

Send a court summons

If payment is not received, or an acceptable payment arrangement is not agreed with us within 14 days of the full amount being due, we will send a Magistrate Court summons. You do not need to attend court.

Costs of £40 will be added to your account.

If you disagree with the summons, contact us straight away. You can do this using the online form below.

Apply for a liability order

If you do not pay the full amount including the court costs, or make a payment arrangement with us, we will make an application for a liability order to the Magistrate Court.

A liability order enables us to recover the debt from you in a number of ways, including:

  • asking your employer to make deductions from your earnings
  • passing your debt to an enforcement agent, which will incur costs
  • deductions from certain benefits including Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and Employment and Support Allowance
  • commencing bankruptcy proceedings against you
  • applying a charging order on your property, which will incur costs.

Costs of £30 will be added to your account.

After the court hearing, you will get a notice requesting information about your circumstances. You can make an arrangement with us to pay your arrears.

Deductions from earnings

Once a liability order has been granted, this gives us the authority to recover the debt directly from your employer.

We will send a Council Tax Attachment of Earnings Order to your employer to arrange for the debt to be recovered from your earnings.

The tables below show the amounts that can be deducted.

Deductions from weekly net earnings
Net earningsDeduction rate
Less than £75 per weekZero
Between £75 and £135 per week3%
Between £135 and £185 per week5%
Between £185 and £225 per week7%
Between £225 and £355 per week12%
Between £355 and £505 per week17%
More than £505 per week17% for the first £505 and 50% for the remainder

Deductions from monthly net earnings

Net earningsDeduction rate
Less than £300 per monthZero
Between £300 and £550 per month3%
Between £550 and £740 per month5%
Between £740 and £900 per month7%
Between £900 and £1,420 per month12%
Between £1,420 and £2,020 per month17%
More than £2,020 per month17% for the first £2,020 and 50% for the remainder


Guidance for employers

Her Majesty's Court Service produces a guide to help employers with the administration of Council Tax Attachment of Earnings Orders. It outlines the procedures involved and rules of the employer, debtor and us.

You can download the Attachment Orders Guide for Employers below.

Icon for pdf Attachment Orders Guide for Employers [730.22KB]

Employers that have received an Attachment of Earnings Order from us for a member of their staff should complete the online form below.

Use of enforcement agents

An enforcement agent could be instructed to collect a debt. If instructed, extra costs will be added to the amount you owe. 

These fees are as follows.

  • £75 on each liability order as soon as the enforcement agent receives your case. You will have the opportunity to make a payment arrangement with the enforcement agent at this stage, and avoid further costs. Do not ignore their first letter. Contact them straight away.
  • £235 (plus 7.5% if your debt is over £1,500) if you fail to pay or make an arrangement.
  • £110 (plus 7.5% if your debt is over £1,500) if the enforcement agent visits you with the purpose of removing and selling goods.

The enforcement agent may make a list of your goods, but as long as you agree to pay the debt, they will only remove the goods if you do not keep to the arrangement.

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