Court Summons but ahead on my Council Tax payments !

By | November 28, 2016

Court SummonsWhat happens where I have been making payments but the Local Authority have still issued a Court Summons ? Is this correct ?

Why is a Court Summons issued ?

A Court Summons will be issued where payment has not been correctly received by a Local Authority in respect of the payments shown on a Council Tax Demand Notice. More information…

Can I be ‘ahead’ and still be summonsed ?

Yes you can however this for technical reasons which rely on the way in which Council Tax legislation works. Lets look at two common cases where this can happen:

Example 1:
The Demand Notice ask for £1,200 in 12 payments from 01 April to 01 March.
You pay £100 on 01 April but just pay £50 on 01 May as you intend to pay again later in the month.
You have not made the full payment of £100 due on 01 May so a Reminder Notice is issued on 02 May for the missing £50 – this notice requires the balance of the instalment to be paid within 7 days.
On 11 May you pay £150 – you intend this to be the £50 plus an extra £100. This puts you ‘ahead’ of the instalments due so far by £100.
A Court Summons drops through your door on 18 May.

Is the Court summons correct ? Yes, it is. But why ?

Where a payment amount and date is shown on a Demand Notice the full payment must be received no later than that date or you are in default of payment.

The Court Summons is correct because you didn’t pay the £50 within 7 days of the Reminder Notice being issued (i.e. by 09 May). Once you failed to pay within the initial 7 days the full remaining balance (£1,050) became due within a further 7 days. Although you paid £150 on 11 May this did not clear the full £900 which was then remaining by 16 May and the Local Authority could correctly issue the Court Summons.

Example 2:
The Demand Notice ask for £1,200 in 12 payments from 01 April to 01 March.
You pay £100 on 01 April and you’re going to pay £100 on 20 May for the May instalment as you know you can ‘pay before the end of the month’.
You have not made the full payment of £100 due on 01 May so a Reminder Notice is issued on 02 May for the missing £100 – this notice requires the balance of the instalment to be paid within 7 days.
A Court Summons drops through your door on 18 May.
You make a payment on 20 May as you intended but the Local Authority won’t withdraw the Court Summons even though you’re ‘up to date’.

Is the Court summons correct ? Yes, it is. But why ?

Where a payment amount and date is shown on a Demand Notice the full payment must be received no later than that date or you are in default of payment.

The Court Summons is correct because you didn’t pay the £100 within 7 days of the Reminder Notice being issued (i.e. by 09 May). Once you failed to pay within the initial 7 days the full remaining balance (£1,100) became due. Although you paid £100 on 20 May this did not clear the full £1,000 which was then remaining by 16 May and the Local Authority could correctly issue the Court Summons.

Note that these are just some of the common reasons why a Court Summons can be issued – there are more reasons !

But I made payments in time and as requested – Could it be an error ?

Errors do happen where payments have gone astray or been received late by the Local Authority. If you think this is the case then contact them ASAP.

Need expert Council Tax help or assistance ?

This article is solely the view of LGFA92 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.

Contact us today. Email us at info@lgfa92.co.uk, Call us on 0191 6451118 or try the chat box below.
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