Arrears / Set up payment plan

Page updated on: 24/01/2024

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, or if you have missed a payment, please get in touch with us so that we can help you. If you do not let us know you are struggling to pay, you may incur further costs and charges which have to be paid. It may be possible to set up a payment plan to repay your Council Tax. Contact us on 01267 228 601 or e-mail to discuss your options.

Each stage below explains what happens when you miss a payment and the costs involved.

If a payment is overdue then we will send you a reminder notice. If you have paid this within seven days of the reminder then your instalments will continue. If you fall behind again a second reminder will be issued. 

Make a payment

If another payment is missed after a second reminder is issued then you have lost the right to pay by instalments. A final notice will be issued for the full amount of council tax due for the year. If payment in full is not received within seven days, a Magistrate's Court Summons will be issued.

Make a payment

If the reminder or final notice is not paid in full, a Magistrate's Court Summons will be issued for the full amount of council tax due for the year plus costs of £62.00. If payment is made in full including £62.00 prior to the court date then no further action will take place.

If payment is not made then an application will be made on the court date for a Liability Order.

It is possible to make an arrangement at this stage to set up a payment plan and it is important you contact us immediately on 01267 228601 or e-mail to discuss your options.

Please note, if an arrangement is made we will still apply for the Liability Order. Please note, only one arrangement can be made on your council tax in any financial year.

Make a payment Set up a payment plan

A Liability Order gives us the power to recover the debt by taking deductions from your earnings or benefits or instructing enforcement agents. We may also instigate bankruptcy proceedings against you or obtain a charging order against your property.

If you have not already agreed a payment plan by this stage a Liability Order will be issued requesting your income and expenditure. You will be asked to provide an income and expenditure report which you can do online.

This must be completed and returned within 14 days. You could be fined up to £500.00 for not completing this form, £1000.00 for supplying false information and/or be summoned to the Magistrates Court.

Create your income and expenditure report

Enforcement agents

If you have not made a suitable arrangement then we have the power under a Liability Order, to use an enforcement agent to collect the debt. Any arrangement made at this stage must be made with the enforcement agent. This course of action will incur further costs which are added to the amount you owe. 

  • Compliance stage: £75.00 is added to each liability order as soon as it is passed to the enforcement agent. This fee is payable before the debt.
  • Enforcement stage: £235.00 plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that is over £1500.00. This fee is payable on the first visit to your property. Only one enforcement fee will be charged even if there is more than one liability order.
  • Sale or disposal stage: £110 plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that is over £1500.00. This fee is payable on the first visit to remove your goods.

The enforcement agent may also recover fees that are reasonably incurred such as the costs of removal, storing goods and locksmith’s fees.

Deductions from your pay or benefit

An order will be sent to your employer instructing them to recover the debt directly from your wage. The amount of the deduction is a percentage scale specified by law. 

If you claim Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Guaranteed pension Credit then the Department of Work and Pensions will be asked to deduct the debt from your benefit. The amount of the deduction is specified by law and is currently £3.70 per week.

Bankruptcy proceedings

We may seek to instigate bankruptcy proceedings against you. This course of action will:

  • Affect your credit rating and you will be blacklisted from getting any more credit.
  • Incur further costs on your account
  • Your bank accounts will be frozen
  • Your property may be sold to recover the debt.

Charging Order

We may obtain a charging order against your property, which may result in a force of sale to recover the debt.