What happens if I don't pay?
If you do not pay your Council Tax on time, you will be issued
Council Tax must be paid in accordance with the instructions on
the bill to avoid recovery. When one instalment is missed, a
Reminder will be issued.If this is not brought up to date, a
Summons is issued. If it is brought up to date -and kept up to date
- no further action will be taken.
If Council Tax is brought
up to date but subsequent instalments are defaulted upon, a Second
Reminder is issued. If this is not brought up to date, a Summons is
issued. If it is brought up to date - and kept up to date - no
further action will be taken.
If Council Tax is brought up to date
but subsequent instalments are defaulted upon, a Final Notice is
issued. The Final Notice allows 7 days to pay the balance due for
the year in full (it is not enough once a Final Notice has been
issued just to bring the instalments up to date).
If this is not paid in full within 7
days, a Summons is issued.
Any summons issued will incur costs of
If payment in full is not received before the Liability
Order hearing date then an additional £50.00 costs will be
Please note that paying within the month will not always avoid
recovery, it is important to make payment on the date shown on the
The easiest way to remember to pay your Council Tax on time is
to pay by Direct Debit, whereby the Council remembers for you.
You can sign up for Direct Debit over the phone by calling Local
Taxation on 01723 232378.
Direct Debit gives you the opportunity to pay on the 1st, 15th
or 25th of the month, and to spread your payments over 10 or even
Council Tax Summons
If you have received a Reminder, but your
Council Tax remains unpaid, the Council will take further recovery
action to obtain the monies due. This is done through the
Magistrates Court and you will be sent a Summons which will tell
you how much money you owe and when the hearing will be.
You will be charged costs for the issue of the
If you can't pay the amount in full, please
contact Local Taxation by telephone on 01723 232378 or by email
It is unlikely that the Summons will be withdrawn but the Council
can agree a payment plan with you that means you will not need to
attend the Magistrates Court hearing.
You can attend Magistrates Court on the date
given on the Summons, and you can speak to the Magistrates but
Council Officers will be at Court if you want to discuss payment of
the money you owe. You do not have to go into Court if you don't
At the Court Hearing the Council will ask the
Magistrates to issue a Liability Order against you. This can be
done even if you are not present. You will be charged costs for the
issue of a Liability Order.
The Liability Order gives the Council legal
powers to recover the money you owe.
These powers are:
- To request information: The person subject to the Liability
Order must supply information regarding their employment and income
details. It is a criminal offence not to supply this information
once requested, or to give false information;
- To attach earnings: The Council can order your employer to take
money from your wages or salary. This is then sent to the Council
to pay your debt. Your employer can charge you £1.00 each time a
deduction is made. Your employer must inform you each time an
amount is deducted. It is an offence for your employer not to
comply with the order;
- To make deductions from your Income Support: The Council can
ask the Benefit Agency to take money from your Income Support. This
is then sent to the Council to pay your debt;
- Charging Order: The Council can apply to the County Court for a
legal charge to be put on your property for the amount due. The
Council will automatically receive the money plus costs when the
property is sold;
- Bankruptcy/Insolvency: The Council can start these proceedings
against you. Such action could put your property at risk;
- Distress (removal of goods to pay a debt): The Council employs
external Recovery Agents (bailiffs).
- Committal to prison: In some circumstances, you can be sent to
prison for not paying your Council Tax.