Received a court summons for Council Tax – don’t panic !

By | October 4, 2016

court summonsIf you’ve received a court summons for Council Tax then the first thing you need to do is not to panic or bury your head in the sand and expect it to go away – that’s not going to happen.

If the situation cannot be resolved the local authority will apply to the magistrates court for a liability order – this date will be shown on the court summons.  The liability order is the decision of the court that the money claimed is outstanding and that the council can use enforcement powers to recover the money.

What can you do regarding the court summons

There are a few easy things you can consider to try to mitigate or resolve the situation.

1) Is the summons correct – have you made payment that’s gone astray ? Payments can easily be delayed or go missing, especially if you’ve provided a wrong reference number. If you think you have then contact the local authority with proof ASAP.

2) Are you actually responsible for the Council Tax charge – Are you named incorrectly, have you moved or should you be in receipt of a Council Tax discount or exemption ? If you think you are then contact the local authority with proof ASAP but remember there are very few defences against the actual granting of the Liability Order.

3) Can you afford to pay in full – Can you afford to clear the balance in full ? (including any costs which have been charged). Remember that most local authorities will apply for extra costs at the liability order court hearing. If you can then contact the local authority  straight away and discuss payment – some may even waive the costs.  Sometimes it can be easier to pay and then dispute the balance afterwards, just because you’ve paid doesn’t stop you doing this, by a Valuation Tribunal, if necessary.

4) Can you pay in instalments – It’s becoming more and more common for local authorities to accept a payment arrangement, even after the court summons has been issued. Part of this arrangement will be for the liability order to be issued by the magistrates court (in case you default later) but the local authority will then hold off on any further enforcement action as long as you.

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 are here to change that. See how we can help today

Contact us today. Email us at [email protected], Call our Council Tax helpline on 0191 6451118.

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.