What Happens If You Don't Pay Your Council Tax

Late council tax payments

If you are having difficulties paying your council tax, it could be you are on a low income and could be entitled to Local Council Tax Support, or it might be you are encountering temporary financial difficulties, either way, you need to contact us immediately to discuss the various options.

 Your council tax has a due date and as our recovery process is mostly automated, if you fail to pay on time, you will be sent a reminder/final notice. 

If you don’t pay the final notice, you’ll receive a summons to the Magistrates Court. This will immediately add £95.00 to your bill.

We will then apply to the Court for a liability order. This adds a further £22.00 to your bill. 

What is a liability order?

A liability order gives us the power to:

  • Ask your employer to deduct an amount from your earnings
  • Use external Enforcement Agents - who will charge you £75.00 immediately. Should they start recovery action against you, they will add further charges of at least £235.00. These amounts are not set by the Council but are statutory amounts and cannot be refunded once charged.
  • Ask the Department for Works and Pensions to make payments direct to the Council if you are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit Guarantee.

In certain cases, we can register outstanding council tax as a charge on your property (like a mortgage).

If the matter still hasn’t been resolved, we can also instigate bankruptcy proceedings or make application with the Magistrates Court for your committal to prison.