Non-payment of Council Tax
What happens if you don't pay your Council Tax?
Council Tax is normally payable over 10 monthly instalments (the number of instalments is reduced if the demand is issued after 30 April). The instalments required are shown on your bill and payment for each instalment must reach the Council on or before the dates shown on the bill.
If you are having trouble paying Council Tax, we can help. Please contact us as soon as possible.
Late payment or failure to pay instalments will result in recovery action being taken in the following order:
- First reminder - link
- Second reminder
- Final notice
- Attachment of earnings
- Deductions from benefits
- Removal of goods or property
- Committal to prison
- First reminder: if an instalment is not received by the due date, a reminder notice will be issued. If it remains unpaid after 7 days, the remainder of the year's charge must be paid in full. Failure to pay the whole amount will result in the issue of a summons.
- Second reminder: if the instalment(s) on the first reminder are paid within the 7 days limit, you may continue to pay under the original instalment scheme. If a further instalment is not received by the due date, another reminder notice will be sent. If the instalment(s) remain unpaid after 7 days, the remainder of the year's charge must be paid in full. Failure to pay the whole amount will result in the issue of a summons.
- Final notice: if the instalment on the second reminder is paid within the 7 days limit, you may again continue to pay under the original instalment scheme. If a further instalment is not received by the due date you will lose the right to pay by instalments and a final notice for the remainder of the year's charge will be sent. Failure to pay the whole amount will result in the issue of a summons.
- Issue of a summons: a summons will be issued for the balance outstanding for the remainder of the year plus costs. If these amounts are not paid in full, we will apply to the Magistrates for a Liability Order.
The Liability Order gives us the power to request details of your income and obtain payment of the outstanding debt and costs in several ways including:
- Attachment of earnings: deductions from your wage/salary vary from 3% to 17% depending on your take-home pay and are made in accordance with a scale set by the Government. Your employer is entitled to make an additional deduction for administering this order. The guidance for employers booklet provides advice on the order and how deductions are to be calculated and deducted.
- Deductions from benefits: if you are in receipt of either specific state benefits/pensions, and you do not already have an Attachment of Benefit Order, the Council will advise the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and deductions will be made directly from your benefit.
- Bankruptcy: if your outstanding debt totals £750 or more and you own your property, the Council may petition the court to make you bankrupt. This action will affect your ability to obtain credit and may result in the loss of your home. Further information
- Removal of goods or property: your debt may be passed to our Civil Enforcement Agents who are authorised to either make a suitable payment arrangement with you or to seize goods or possessions up to the value of the amount owed and sell them to settle the debt. This will incur additional costs as below:
THE FEES DUE AT EACH STAGE
£235 plus 7.5% of the debt amount which exceeds £1,500
£110 plus 7.5% of the debt amount exceeding £1,500
We have authorised Ross & Roberts and Goodwillie & Corcoran as Civil Enforcement Agents to take action to recover debts for Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates. The contact details for the agents are:
They are also authorised to a execute Warrants of Arrest in regards to action taken under Committal to Prison.
Action taken will incur additional costs being incurred. These are fixed costs for each stage of the enforcement process and have been set in legislation. Information on the action that will be taken by Civil Enforcement agents
Both agencies are members of the Civil Enforcement Association, CIVEA which is independently funded association formed to represent all private certificated bailiffs in England and Wales.
Committal to prison: After all other recovery options have been tried and full payment of the outstanding arrears has not been paid, we will apply to the Court for the debtor to be sent to prison for a period of up to 90 days. This action will result in substantial costs being added to your outstanding charge.
Debt Recovery: We ensure that all income due to the Council is collected in an economical, efficient and cost effective manner in the interest of our customers and businesses. Read our Debt Recovery Policy
Please contact us immediately for advice and to discuss an alternative arrangement if you are unable to pay an amount that is due, or you are experiencing financial difficulties.