If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax, you should first check our list of occupied properties, empty properties, and person related exemptions and discounts. You may be able to claim something you are are entitled to but are currently not claiming for. You could also use this online calculator to see if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction. The leaflet managing your money.pdf [pdf] 922KB may contain some useful information. If you are still concerned, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any other options that may be available to you. You may also telephone 01903 737752 or write to the address at the bottom of this page.
Please check the reductions for businesses page to see whether you qualify for any help. If you are still concerned, please email email@example.com to discuss any other options that may be available to you.
If you fall into arrears with payments, this will trigger the recovery process.
- When one instalment is missed we will send you a reminder notice
- If your instalments are brought up to date no further action will be taken
- If your instalments are brought up to date but a subsequent instalment is not paid by the due date, a final reminder is issued (final reminders are not issued for Business Rates only Council Tax)
- If your instalments are not brought up to date and kept up to date once a reminder notice has been sent to you, a Final Notice will be issued advising you that you have lost the right to pay by instalments. The whole balance must now be paid, in full, within 7 days and not just any outstanding instalments
- If the balance is not paid within 7 days of a Final Notice being issued, a Summons will be issued for you to appear before the Magistrates Court, which will incur you with costs
If you have received a summons, this means we are taking you to court. The hearing will be at the Magistrates Court and the summons will tell you when the court date is and the amount the council is trying to recover. This will be both the outstanding amount of the Council Tax or Business Rates plus the summons costs. You do not need to attend the hearing as the matter can be heard in your absence. We will contact you once we have have obtained a liability order. The court must grant a liability order against you unless you are able to prove that one of the following defences apply:
- We have not demanded the Council Tax as the law sets out
- You have already paid the amount on the summons
- You are not the person liable for Council Tax
- More than 6 years have passed since we sent you the bill for the amount
- Bankruptcy (including Individual Voluntary Arrangements) has been initiated
It is not a valid defence if you have either applied for Council Tax Reduction ot have appealed to the Valuation Tribunal. If the liability order is granted by the court we will charge you further costs. If you cannot make payment in full before the court date then please complete this Personal Budget Questionnaire.pdf [pdf] 47KB and send it to us.
- You are not liable for the period stated on the demand notice
- The Business Rates have not been demanded in accordance with the statutory regulations
- The amount demanded has been paid in full
- More than 6 years have passed since the day the charge became due
- Bankruptcy (including Individual Voluntary Arrangements), receivership or winding up proceedings have been initiated.
It is not a valid defence if you have made an appeal against the rateable value of your property.
If the liability order is granted by the court we will charge you further costs. If you believe you have a valid defence you should contact us immediately on 01903 737752, as it may be possible to resolve the matter without going to court.
- Take money from your wages
- Take money from your benefits
- Use enforcement agencies to take your belongings to the value of your debt (which will incur further charges)
- Make you bankrupt
- Put a charge against your home or other property you own
- Apply for you to be sent to prison (in extreme circumstances)
The details of this process are laid out in our Recovery Policy.pdf [pdf] 507KB
- Use enforcement agents to take your stock, fixtures and fittings to sell to cover the amount you owe
- Make you bankrupt
- Apply for you to be sent to prison