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Struggling to pay?

Problems paying

If you find yourself struggling to pay your Council Tax, we may be able to help, email the Council Tax team or call 01795 417272.

How can we help?

We fully understand that people can sometimes have difficulty paying their council tax. We also understand that, with busy lives to lead, people occasionally forget to make payments, or pay them late. That's why we always try to be sensitive to a person's circumstances and make every effort to help whenever possible.

The biggest mistake people make when they fall behind with their council tax is to simply do nothing. We cannot do anything to help unless you let us know there is a problem. We will be able to advise you what you need to do and we may also be able to reschedule your payments.

We would recommend that you pay by Direct Debit, that way your payments are requested automatically by your bank, so there's no risk of missing a payment. If you would like to set up a Direct Debit instruction to pay your council tax see our ways to pay page.

Reminder notice

The reason we send letters is to remind people that their payments are behind. This provides an opportunity to do something about it, the important thing is to act now. Don't wait until you have received another letter. If you can't pay as requested, please let us know as we might be able to help.

We will send you a reminder notice if you have missed a payment. You must pay the amount shown on the reminder within 7 days. If you don't pay within 7 days, you could be summoned to court for the balance of the year's council tax.

We will only send you two reminder notices in any one financial year. If you keep missing payments you will lose your right to pay by monthly instalments and will have to pay the balance of the year's council tax.

Final notice

We will send a final notice if you have missed payments and reminder notices have previously been issued and / or if you have moved house without clearing the council tax due on your old address. The final notice will be for the balance outstanding of the year's council tax. You will need to pay the amount in full within 7 days. If you don't, you could be summoned to court. 

Summons

If you do not respond to reminders or a final notice, court proceedings to recover the unpaid amount may commence. In which case, you will be sent a summons, advising you of a Hearing date. The only way to avoid the matter going to court is to pay the outstanding council tax in full. You will also have to pay additional costs.

If you do not pay, we will ask the court to grant a "liability order". This will give us the power to take further steps to recover the outstanding council tax. These could include sending enforcement agents to your home, taking the outstanding council tax straight from your pay, or making deductions from your benefits.

For further information and debt help visit Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also ‘ask MA’, the independent Money Advice Service website or StepChange debt charity if you would like money advice tips.

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