Where an amount of Council Tax remains due after the Local Authority have proceeded through the usual process of Council Tax billing then a court may be asked to grant a Liability Order. The granting of this Liability Order allows further powers to be used by the Local Authority to recover the monies which are outstanding.
When can they undertake recovery of the amounts outstanding ?
If an amount of Council Tax remains unpaid after a Reminder Notice or Final Notice has been issued then the Local Authority will issue a Court Summons. The Court Summons is an application to the Magistrates’ Court for the granting of a Liability Order .Once a Local Authority has been granted a Liability Order then they are provided with a range of options they can use to recover the monies which remain outstanding.
What can they do to recover the outstanding Council Tax ?
Once a Liability Order has been granted by the Magistrates’ Court then the Local Authority are given a range of powers to enforce the unpaid Council Tax.
- Payment Arrangement
A payment arrangement is not covered within legislation and is at the discretion of the Local Authority as to whether they allow one or on what terms they do so.
- Regulation 36 notice
The Local Authority may issue a form to request further information they require for purposes of enforcement. A fine may be issued if this form is not completed.
- Attachment of Benefit
An Attachment of Benefit order may be issued to remove monies direct from your benefit, providing you are in receipt of a specified, deductible benefit.
- Attachment of Earnings
An Attachment of Earnings order may be issued to remove monies direct from your employer.
- Charging Order
A Charging Order can be issued against a property, for a debt of £1,000 or more, following a further application to a County Court. This order may restrict your ability to sell your house.
- Bankruptcy Order
A Bankruptcy Order can be issued against an individual, for a debt of £3,000 or more, following a further application to a County Court.
- Enforcement Agent
An Enforcement Agent may be instructed at the discretion of the Local Authority. This will usually incur fees of £310, this is split in to an initial charge of £75 and a second charge of £235 (further fees can be incurred in some case). Before the Enforcement Agent can visit a property they will issue an initial 7 day notice as a warning – this notice will incur the £75 fee. If the Enforcement Agent attends the property then the £235 fee may be due.
- Committal to Prison
Where an Enforcement Agent had failed to collect an amount which is outstanding then they may apply to the Magistrate’s Court for an hearing to commit a person to jail.
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This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.