Problems Paying?

 

See if you are entitled to any Discounts or Exemptions.

 

Council Tax Reduction

If you’re on a low income you may be entitled to help to pay your council tax.  See if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction.

 

Help with Debt

The leaflet managing your money.pdf [pdf] 922KB may contain some useful information and you can always call us on 01903 737752 or write to the address at the bottom of this page to let us know you’re struggling to pay.  Please don’t wait for a reminder notice – we take swift recovery action against non-payers so please get in touch.

You can get free and impartial advice from the following external agents:

Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 allows the Council to reduce the amount of Council Tax payable. Section 13A discount awards will be used to help mitigate the escalation of needs that arise from unforeseen or exceptional circumstances that threaten taxpayer’s abilities to fund the cost of Council Tax and may threaten their ability to remain in their homes. Please read our full Council Tax Section 13A Discretionary Discount Policy here:  Section 13A Council Tax Relief.docx [docx] 25KB . The application form is available here:  Council Tax Discretionary Relief application form.pdf [pdf] 173KB .

 

How we recover unpaid Council Tax / Business Rates

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

 

Court Summons

Our Revenues team are currently experiencing a high volume of calls. If you have received a reminder or summons, you can avoid the wait by making a payment online (please press the button at the bottom of this page).

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.

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.

 

Liability orders

A liability order gives the council extra powers to recover the outstanding debt.

If you owe council tax we can take money from your wages or your benefits or ask an enforcement agency to collect money from you. We could also obtain a charge against your property, take bankruptcy proceedings or apply for you to be sent to prison (in extreme circumstances).

For business rates we can pass your debt to an enforcement agent to collect, if they are unsuccessful, we can apply to the Magistrates for committal proceedings or commence proceedings to make you bankrupt or liquidate your company.

The way in which we collect and recover council tax and business rates is set out in our Recovery Policy.pdf [pdf] 507KB.