Payment and Recovery
Wherever possible, your initial bill will show the total amount to pay for the new financial year. This bill may be amended if your circumstances change and qualify for a discount, or if your income alters and you become entitled to a discount. You can pay by instalments, your annual bill (issued in March each year), will ask you to pay by ten monthly instalments from April to January, on the 5th of each month for Council Tax or the 1st of the month for Business Rates.
Exceptions include: Bills issued part way through the financial year, bills for small balances or where instalments have not been paid on time in the past. Council Tax Direct Debit payers have the added option of paying on the 18th of the month.
Instalments should be made so we received them on or before the date shown on the bill. The best way to ensure this is to arrange payment by Direct Debit. You can pay your annual council tax bill in 12 instalments, rather than ten. We can also extend your monthly instalments through to March during the year. You need to contact us in writing to do this.
Reminders and Final Notices: If you receive a reminder or a final notice, you will need to bring your payments up to date by the date shown on the notice. If you do not do this your right to instalments may be cancelled without further notice to you. If you bring your Council Tax instalments up to date, band you are late making another payment a further reminder will be sent. ONLY TWO Council Tax reminders are sent in any financial year.
If you are late making further payments your right to instalments WILL be cancelled. Future payments must be on time as further recovery action may take place with no further warning. Once your right to instalments is cancelled, if you do not pay the outstanding amount you will be issued with a summons to appear at Magistrates Court. We will obtain a liability order against you, which will include you being charged costs.
If you have recently made a payment when you received a reminder, or feel the amount due is incorrect, you should contact us on 01827 709530 to ensure that all payments have been received, and that no changes have been made to your account that you are not aware of.
Summonses and Liability Orders: If amounts have not been paid in line with reminders, the full amount of Council Tax or Business Rates for the year becomes due. This can also be the case if you have received reminders that you have paid, but later fail to keep paying in line with your bill.
Once the full amount is due, the Council may summons you for non-payment. Once the full amount is due, the Council may summons you for non-payment. This will involve £60 costs being added to your account immediately. You will be summonsed to attend the Magistrates Court to show why you have not paid, however if you do not attend, action will be taken as if you were there. This will involve £60 costs being added to your account immediately. You will be summonsed to attend the Magistrates Court to show why you have not paid, however if you do not attend, action will be taken as if you were there.
This action will be the granting of a Liability Order, together with a further £35 costs. Please note that if you do not dispute the charge, and simply need to make an arrangement to pay, you do not need to attend the court on the hearing date. It is advisable to contact the Recovery Team on 01827 709463 before the hearing to deal with any queries you have and make arrangements for payment.
If a liability order is granted against you, the Council gains additional powers to recover the outstanding debt, which again can involve additional costs to you. These options include:
- The use of enforcement agents (which can include your goods being taken for sale to reduce the amount you owe.) Referral of cases to them will include costs of at least £75
- Attachment of earnings (deductions direct from your wages - used for Council Tax)
- Attachment of benefits (deductions direct from your benefits - used for Council Tax)
- A Charging Order made against your property
- The initiation of insolvency proceedings (Bankruptcy for a person or Liquidation for a company)
- The initiation of Committal action, where you can be sent to prison for up to three months.
If you have any questions regarding this information, or if you have received any recovery correspondence from us, contact: Recovery Team. Tel: 01827 709463.