There are several different ways of paying your council tax.
You can make:
- one payment
- two equal payments
- or spread the cost over ten or 12 months by way of instalments
Payment in full
Due to low interest rates, the discount for paying your council tax early and in full has been discontinued.
Payment in instalments
- You may pay in two half yearly instalments in April and October, although you should advise the Council if you intend to pay in this way
- the statutory scheme gives you the right to pay by ten instalments from April to January or twelve instalments
If you become liable for council tax later in the year, you may be entitled to fewer instalments.
The council is obliged to take recovery action on any instalments that are in arrears and will issue a reminder.
If it becomes necessary to issue a summons, costs will be incurred and you will lose the right to continue to pay by instalments during that financial year.
Further costs are incurred if collection is passed to a bailiff.
Methods of payment
To make a payment to the council, use one of the options below:
Difficulties paying your council tax
Payments should be received on or before the due dates as indicated on your council tax bill. Your right to pay by instalments could be lost if reminder notices are issued for overdue payments. If it is necessary to issue a summons (for hearing at the Magistrates Court), the full balance will be payable and costs of £50.00 will be incurred.
If the summons is not paid in full, including the costs by the hearing date, the council will proceed with the case and request a liability order, adding a further cost of £20.00.
A liability order enables the council to take further action to recover the debt.
When we get a liability order, we will advise you by letter. When you receive that letter you should contact us immediately to discuss your situation and make an arrangement to pay the amount you owe.
You can contact us for advice at any time if you fall behind with your payments. If you have received a summons, you can make an arrangement for payment but you will still have to pay the summons costs. If not paid in full by the hearing date, we will still request the liability order from the Magistrates Court.
Before you contact us, it may help you to make a list of your income and outgoings and work out how much you can afford to repay each week or month.
What happens if I default on the arrangement?
If you get behind with the arrangement and we do not hear from you, we can collect the money you owe in one of the following ways:
- We can take the money from your wages
- We can take the money from your benefits
- We can use bailiffs
What happens if you pass my account to the bailiffs?
Once we have passed your account to the bailiffs, they will contact you. If you have any questions, you should contact the bailiffs.
The liability order allows the bailiff to remove goods from your property so we can sell them and use the money to pay the council tax you owe. In practice this will only happen in extreme cases, as the bailiff would rather come to an arrangement with you to clear the debt over a period of time.
Bailiff companies are entitled to levy fees and these will be payable to the bailiff in addition to the council tax charge and summons costs.
It is important that you contact us promptly if you are having difficulties with your payments so that we can provide advice and support.