What happens if I don’t pay Council Tax ?

By | November 28, 2016

Council Tax court roomWhat is the process of collecting and enforcing Council Tax payments and what will happen if you don’t make the payments that are required by the Local Authority ?

Demand Notice

This is the initial notice that will tell you what to pay and when. Fail to make the payment and the Local Authority will issue notice that payment has been missed and should be made in line with the details given on that notice.

First Reminder

A First Reminder is a notice stating that you have missed a first payment – these payments are shown on the Demand Notice. You will be given 7 days to pay the stated amount to bring the Council Tax account up to date. Make the payment within  7 days and you will retain the right to pay by instalments.

Fail to pay the amount shown on the First Reminder within 7 days and you will be given a further 7 days to pay the full outstanding balance. Fail to do this and you will be issued with a Court Summons

Regulation 23 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

Second Reminder

A Second Reminder is a notice stating that you have missed a second payment – these payments are shown on the Demand Notice. You will be given 7 days to pay the stated amount to bring the Council Tax account up to date. Make the payment within  7 days and you will retain the right to pay by instalments.

Fail to pay the amount shown on the Second Reminder within 7 days and you will be given a further 7 days to pay the full outstanding balance. Fail to do this and you will be issued with a Court Summons

Regulation 23 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

Final Notice

A Final Notice is a notice stating that you have missed a third payment. You will be given 7 days to clear the Council Tax account in full. Fail to pay the amount shown on the Final Notice within the 7 days and you will be issued with a Court Summons.

Regulation 33 & 34 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

Court Summons

A Court Summons will give you 14 days notice that there will be a Magistrates Court hearing in to the failure to make payments as required. In most cases Court Costs (this is not a fine) will be added to your Council Tax  account for the cost of issuing the Court Summons.
Note that the defences against the granting of a Liability Order are limited by law.

Your credit record is not affected by the issuing of a Court Summons.

Regulation 34 & 35 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

Liability Order Hearing

A Liability Order hearing will be held by a Magistrates Court no earlier than 14 days after the issuing of a Court Summons. If the Liability Order is granted the Local Authority will be granted legal powers to recover the balance outstanding. In most cases Court Costs will be added to your account for the cost of obtaining the Liability Order.

A Liability Order hearing does not have to be attended by the debtor, the court will hear the case in their absence. The court have no powers to make or order a payment arrangement and can effectively only consider if the application is legally correct or not – if it is then they have no choice but to grant the Liability Order. Note that the defences against the granting of a Liability Order are limited by law.

Your credit record is not affected by the granting of a Liability Order.

Regulation 34 & 35 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

Joint Liability

If you are jointly liable for Council Tax with another person then the Local Authority may take enforcement action against any of the individuals – they can even recover all of the monies from only one of the parties if they see fit. The decision on who to pursue, and the chosen method of enforcement, is a decision solely in the hands of the Local Authority.

The Local Authority are however limited in that they cannot use an enforcement option – attachment of earnings order etc – against more than one person at a time. They can however agree payment arrangements with more than one party at the same if they so wish.

Need expert Council Tax help or assistance?

This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax agents and 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.

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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