Recovery of Council Tax
If you get into payment difficulties and you can't afford your instalments, contact us straight away. We may be able to help you by making a different payment arrangement. Remember that paying by direct debit ensures that your payments are made on time every month.
If you pay late we will send you a reminder or final notice. If you do not pay you lose your right to pay by instalments, and this could result in you being summonsed to appear in a Magistrate's Court and charged court costs.
You need to attend court if you have a legally valid reason for not paying. The only valid reasons are that: we have not billed you properly, or that you can prove that the bill has already been paid. Not having any money is not a valid defence. If you make a payment arrangement with the us before the Court date you will not have to go to the court hearing.
The council must still attend court to get a Liability Order (an order that says you are liable to the tax) but, as long as the arrangement is kept, no further recovery action will be taken. The cost of the Liability Order will be included in the payment arrangement. We do not tell credit reference agencies about Liability Orders so your credit rating is not affected.
If the court decides that you are responsible for paying and you have not paid in full, they can issue a Liability Order. Once the Council has a Liability Order you should contact us to make an arrangement to pay. If you do not contact us, or we cannot agree how you will pay, we will usually try to collect the money in one of the following ways:
If you do not pay we can return to court. The court may decide to send you to prison, order you to pay, or tell us to write off part or all of the debt.
This page was last updated on 19/12/2011