Recovery of unpaid council tax
Having difficulty making payments of council tax? Then please:
What happens if payments are missed or late?
The council issues a reminder setting out the instalments that are late or unpaid.
If the instalments are not brought up to date within seven days, the full outstanding balance will fall due after a further seven days. The right to pay by instalments will then be lost.
The law only allows for two such reminders to be sent in any year, after which any further failure to pay on time will result in the unpaid balance becoming immediately due. This rule is to prevent the need for constant reminders to be sent as a result of the persistent failure to pay on time.
Council tax is due on the dates shown on your bill. It is important that payments are not late. The council is not only collecting council tax for itself but also for the county council the Police Authority and the Fire Authority and must make monthly payments itself to these authorities from the council tax payments it receives from council tax payers.
Arrangements to pay over an extended period
The council will consider any proposals from defaulters who wish to make payments over a longer period and will treat each case on its merits. However the council will always seek to recover the amount due within the current financial year and will usually protect its position in such cases by obtaining a liability order at the Magistrates Court.
A liability order is the document issued by the Magistrates Court which provides for the council to obtain relevant information about the financial and other circumstances of the debtor, and to apply various remedies to obtain the monies due.
Action to obtain a liability order at the Magistrates Court is started by the issue of a summons. The cost of issuing the summons and the obtaining of a liability order at the Magistrates Court are charged to the defaulting council tax payer.
Prompt payment of council tax
By taking prompt action against all those who do not pay and protecting the council’s position with those who wish to make an arrangement to pay over an extended period, the council has been able to budget to collect 99% of all collectable council tax.
Prompt payment therefore contributes to lower council tax bills for everybody.