Difficulties paying your Council Tax
Last updated 19 October 2022
Do not wait for a reminder to arrive or ignore the problem. If you do you may have to pay further costs.
Council Tax is a priority debt along with your mortgage, rent and fuel bills. If you do not keep your payments up to date, recovery action will be taken.
Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay. It's simple, quick and safe and you do not need to remember to pay. You can spread your payments over the year with a choice of 3 payment dates on the 1st, 15th and 25th of the month.
You can also use the form to:
- tell us about a change to the Bank or Building Society account that you want to make payments from
- make a change to your Direct Debit payment date
Request a payment plan
If you’ve fallen behind it may be possible to agree a payment plan that you can afford where your payments are spread out across the year.
You’ll need to work out how much you can offer to pay us. Make a list of all the money coming in to your household such as you and your partners take home pay, pension and maintenance. Then list all your outgoings such as fuel bills, mortgage or rent. An online benefits calculator will help you prepare your personal budget plan.
What happens if you do not pay?
Your Council Tax bill tells you exactly when and how much you have to pay.
If you do not pay as requested we’ll send you a reminder notice and may take further recovery action against you. Failure to pay your Council Tax may affect your credit rating.
Our policy on the recovery of monies owed to us can be found in the corporate debt recovery code (PDF 456Kb).
If you've received a Council Tax summons you must follow the instructions on your letter. You can either:
- pay in full if you can to pay off the whole amount you owe
- pay in instalments as set out in your letter
If you cannot make a payment, we'll apply for a liability order which is a legal demand for payment. We'll then contact you for further information about your financial circumstances.
Find more information on what actions we must take in order to legally recover any Council Tax arrears by visiting GOV.UK
If you need advice about any debts you have, you can find out more on our Debt advice pages.