Unpaid council tax

Unpaid council tax

If you are unable to make a payment or have missed an instalment, it is important for you to contact us as soon as possible to prevent further action.

When a payment is missed

If a payment is missed and you do not contact us, we will begin recovery action. Initially we will send you a reminder letter.

Reminder letters

The reminder letter will request you pay any missing payment(s) as well as any payment due within 7 days of the reminder. This is a lawful requirement and the total shown must be paid within 7 days to stop further recovery action. If you are unable to pay the amount on your reminder you must contact us to prevent further recovery action.

If you do not make payment or contact us, the whole outstanding charge for the year will become due and we will issue you a Court Summons. We will only issue two reminders in a year. Each must be paid on time. If you fall into arrears for a third time no reminder will be sent. We will instead send you a Final Notice.

Final Notice

If you fall in to arrears for a third time during a year, the whole outstanding charge for the year will become due and we will issue a Final Notice. The amount on the Final Notice must be paid within 7 days to stop further recovery action.

If you are unable to pay the amount on your Final Notice you must contact us to prevent further recovery action.

If you do not make payment or contact us we will issue you a Court Summons.

Court Summons

If you have not fully paid or contacted us regarding a Final Notice or Reminder we will issue you a Court Summons and seek a liability order from the Magistrates Court. At this point you will also become liable for court costs. If the court issues a liability order to recover the unpaid council tax we can:

  • make a payment arrangement with you to pay off the debt which will also include court costs

  • deduct the money directly from your benefits

  • apply to your employer to deduct the money directly from your wages

  • consider making you bankrupt or put a charge on your property

  • if you do not contact us about your arrears after receiving a summons, your debt may be passed to enforcement agents (bailiffs). At this point you will also become liable for substantial statutory enforcement agent fees

Council tax summons guidance

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If we are unable to recover the tax and enforcement agents have not been able to obtain goods to the value of the debt we can apply for your committal to prison.

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