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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- You can spread your payments over 12 months rather than ten, resulting in smaller monthly payments.
- You may be entitled to a discount or exemption.
- If you have a low income, you may be entitled to Council Tax support.
- We can signpost you to debt advice.
For general enquiries please contact us using the form below
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. You can do this using the online form below.
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.
|Net earnings||Deduction rate|
|Less than £75 per week||Zero|
|Between £75 and £135 per week||3%|
|Between £135 and £185 per week||5%|
|Between £185 and £225 per week||7%|
|Between £225 and £355 per week||12%|
|Between £355 and £505 per week||17%|
|More than £505 per week||17% for the first £505 and 50% for the remainder|
|Net earnings||Deduction rate|
|Less than £300 per month||Zero|
|Between £300 and £550 per month||3%|
|Between £550 and £740 per month||5%|
|Between £740 and £900 per month||7%|
|Between £900 and £1,420 per month||12%|
|Between £1,420 and £2,020 per month||17%|
|More than £2,020 per month||17% 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.
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.
For further details on how we collect Council Tax, the support provided to those struggling to pay and the recovery of arrears, please see our policy below.