How to pay your council tax

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For our new online council tax services, please click here

There are many different ways to pay your council tax - online by direct debit, online (If you have been invoiced), by telephone or in person at your local pay point or post office, via a payment card or by using the bar code on your bill.

Direct Debit is the easiest way for you to pay your council tax.  Please call 0845 054 8600 with your bank account details. Note that your account must be up-to-date before you can pay by direct debit.

Choose the date most convenient for you to pay, either 1st, 8th, 15th or 22nd of the month and we will do the rest. You will receive written confirmation and your payments are covered by the Direct Debit guarantee scheme offered by all banks and building societies in the scheme.

You can also pay council tax, non domestic rates and parking fines online or by using our automated telephone line on 0845 054 8600 with a debit/credit card.

Problems paying your council tax

If you’re struggling to pay your council tax, contact us as soon as possible. We may be able to spread your payments over a longer period or you may qualify for council tax benefit.

We are duty bound to collect council tax in line with current regulations. If a payment is missed you will receive a reminder and will have a further seven days to pay before the whole balance becomes due. If payment of the first reminder is made you can continue to pay monthly. If it is not paid, you will receive a summons and face costs of £65.

The law only allows a maximum of two reminders in any financial year. If after making payment for a second reminder your payment is late again, you will receive a Final Notice. This has to be paid in full within 14 days or you will be issued with a summons and incur costs again of £65.

If you still don’t pay

We can ask the Magistrates’ Court for a ‘Liability Order’. This is a demand for you to pay the full amount you owe, plus costs.

You have the right to attend the court and say why you think you shouldn’t have to pay. Even if you decide not to attend court, you should speak to us or, if you prefer, your local Citizens Advice. We will try to come to a reasonable arrangement with you for payment – so it is important that you talk to us.

If you ignore the court order

We can take action to get the money you owe.

Deductions from wages

We can order your employer to deduct a regular amount from your wages toward your unpaid council tax.

Deductions from benefits

We can also apply to have money deducted from your benefits, like Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support, Employment & Support Allowance or Pension Credit.

Enforcement agents (formerly bailiffs)

We can also send enforcement agents to your home to seize property to sell. We will write to you two weeks before their first visit saying how much you owe.

You can contact them and try to agree a payment plan. However, if they visit you their costs will be added to your bill.


If we have tried using enforcement agents but your bill still isn’t paid, we can apply to the Magistrates’ Court for a warrant to send you to prison.

The court must hold an enquiry with you present. This is to find out if you can afford to pay the bill. If the court doesn’t think you have a valid reason for not paying, it can send you to prison for up to 3 months.

The court may decide to postpone imprisonment on certain conditions, like you agreeing to repay the debt over time. The court can also cancel all or part of the debt.


Published: 23 May 2012 - 1:18pm