In some cases a Local Authority may need to issue a Council Tax Demand Notice some time after the original debt would have been due
Can the Local Authority take enforcement action to recover this balance or is it Statute Barred after 6 years ?
How is Council Tax recovered ?
Council Tax is recovered by way of a Liability Order from the Magistrates Court. This Order, granted following the issuing of a Court Summons, allows the Local Authority to undertake enforcement action against the outstanding balance.
Is Council Tax Statute Barred after 6 years ?
Council Tax arrears do not become Statute Barred after 6 years like most other debts – Council Tax has it’s own specific rules on Collection and Enforcement.
Regulation 34 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations states in respect of a Court Summons application that
…but no application may be instituted in respect of a sum after the period of six years beginning with the day on which it became due under Part V…
If the Local Authority don’t issue the Summons within the 6 year limit then they cannot obtain a Liability Order through which to enforce the debt – they can however still chase you for the money, they just cannot enforce it.
What if the Demand Notice has just been issued but the Council Tax charge is from more than 6 years ago ?
A Council Tax charge cannot become due until a Council Tax Demand Notice has been issued for it – the 6 years starts ticking from that point only.
If the Local Authority have issued a Demand Notice as they’ve just found out something which has affected the charge then the 6 year period will begin with the issuing of this Demand.
What if I don’t acknowledge it or if I dispute the debt ?
Failing to acknowledge it or disputing the debt does not prevent the Local Authority from continuing with enforcement action.
What if they already have a Council Tax Liability Order ? Is there a time limit ?
Where a Local Authority in England and Wales has already obtained a Liability Order there is no limit on how long they can continue to pursue the monies which are due.
Advice & Assistance from LGFA92
Good quality help with your Council Tax dispute can be hard to come across – there’s a lack of independent, expert, places where you can get the help you need however LGFA92’s specialist Council Tax advisor is here to change that.
This website is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax specialists , 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.