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Problems paying your Council Tax?

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Coronavirus update

We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for many of our residents. Your Council Tax does pay for essential services so it is really important that if your circumstances have not changed that you continue to pay what you normally would as per your bill.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax there is support available:

  • Ensure you have claimed all the benefits you are entitled to. For working age families this is Universal Credit from the DWP and Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit from us.
  • If you wish to change or defer your payment instalments please contact us. We will answer your call as quickly as possible, but please be aware we are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment.

For details of additional assistance at this time, see our Benefits & Help page.

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Please don't let debt problems grow

The longer you leave it and allow any debt to build up, the harder it will be to make an acceptable payment arrangement to clear the debt. Keeping in touch with us when you are experiencing difficulties will help prevent action being taken against you.

If you have problems paying your Council Tax, or you think you might be about to have problems, please contact us immediately as you may be able to rearrange the way you pay.

You can also check if you are eligible for any Council Tax discounts, disregards and exemptions, and whether you may be eligible for any benefits and other support to pay it.

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Making payment arrangement

We will try to reach an agreement to clear your Council Tax debts at a rate you can afford.

If you have received a summons you can still make an agreement, but you will still have to pay the court costs and we will still get a Liability Order from the Magistrates Court.

Please make a list of your income and outgoings using this form, so you can work out how much you can afford to repay each week or month. If you need a paper copy please ask.

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If you don't pay

Here is what happens if you don’t pay:

  1. We send you an initial reminder to be paid within seven days. If you don’t pay, then
  2. We send you a final notice requesting you pay the full balance of the annual charge. If you don’t pay, then
  3. We ask the Magistrate Court to issue a summons to you for a hearing over the unpaid money, which adds £56.10 court costs to your account. If you still don’t pay, then
  4. We ask the Magistrates Court to grant us the power to recover the unpaid money from you, which adds another £28.60 court costs to your account. If the court decides to grant us this power and you still don’t pay then
  5. We collect the unpaid money from you using a range of methods including attachment of earnings or benefits, enforcement action, and bankruptcy proceedings. You will be liable for any further costs incurred as a result of these methods. Please note if we forward your account to a enforcement agent, the enforcement agent becomes responsible for recovering the debt and we will not usually intervene any further.

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Recovery of non-payment of Council Tax

Remember, please contact us as soon as possible in order to avoid any recovery action.

If you don't pay your Council Tax, or don't keep to an arrangement, we can take the following recovery action in order to recovery any monies owed.


We will issue you a with a Magistrates Court Summons. We will ask the Magistrates court for a Liability Order which will incur further costs. You have a right to attend the hearing and explain why a Liability Order should not be issued against you. If you are not disputing the case then you do not need to attend but it is important that you keep to the arrangement on your summons document or contact us to discuss further.

Liability Orders

If a court has made a Liability Order against you, we can take enforcement action to recover the debt. This could include Attaching your Earning/Benefits; referring the debt to an Enforcement Agent; Committal to Prison; Bankruptcy/Insolvency or a Charging Order.

Attachment of Earnings

This is a legal document which has been sent to your employer and enables them to deduct a regular amount from your wages to pay the outstanding Council Tax. The amount deducted is calculated based on a percentage of your net pay as detailed in the tables below:

Deductions from Weekly Earnings:

Net Earnings Deduction Rate(%)
Not Exceeding £75


Exceeding £75 but not exceeding £135 3
Exceeding £135 but not exceeding £185 5
Exceeding £185 but not exceeding £225 7
Exceeding £225 but not exceeding £355 12
Exceeding £355 but not exceeding £505 17
Exceeding £505 17 in respect of the first £505 and 50 in respect of the remainder.

Deductions from Monthly Earnings:

Net Earnings Deduction Rate(%)
Not Exceeding £300 0
Exceeding £300 but not exceeding £550 3
Exceeding £550 but not exceeding £740 5
Exceeding £740 but not exceeding £900 7
Exceeding £900 but not exceeding £1420 12
Exceeding £1420 but not exceeding £2020 17
Exceeding £2020 17 in respect of the first £2020 and 50 in respect of the remainder.

More information regarding an attachment of earnings can be found here.

Attachment of Benefits

We may be able to apply for deductions if your are receiving Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Income related Employment Support Allowances, Pension Credit or Universal Credit.

Enforcement Agents

We can send Enforcement Agents to your home to seize goods to raise money towards the amount of the debt and add costs incurred. We employ Bristow & Sutor as Enforcement Agent:

Bristow & Sutor, Bartleet Road, Washford, Redditch B98 0LF. Website:

Committal to Prison

If the Council have tried other recovery options they may request that the Magistrates issue a summons for you to appear before them the explain why you haven't paid your debt and to do a means enquiry. If the court are satisfied that you have the means to pay and that you have either wilfully refused to pay or that you have been found culpably negligent, you may be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 3 months. The court can in some cases postpone the imprisonment if an arrangement can be agreed and is maintained.


If you or your company owe more than £750 and a Liability Order has been obtained we may start bankruptcy proceedings against you. Your debt would be passed to a solicitor who will issue you with a statutory demand. This demand will give you 21 days to pay in full. If you do not settle the demand, we will present a petition for bankruptcy to the County Court.

Charging Order

If you owe more than £1,000 under the Liability Order and the Council Tax payer has a legal interest in a the property, the Council can apply to the County Court for a Charging Order on the property. If a property or other legal interest is sold the amount of the order plus costs is paid out of the proceeds.

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Contact us

Contact us about problems paying your Council Tax.

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