If you are behind on your council tax payments, you should contact your local council for help. If you can’t afford to pay, you may be faced with the prospect of imprisonment. Your council can try to recoup the money by attempting to take money out of your wages or benefits. To avoid going to prison, make sure you pay your council tax on time and include your liability order number and reference number. It’s also wise to keep a record of your payments.
Your council can also cancel your monthly bills or ask you to pay your whole year in advance. Alternatively, they may take you to court. If you can’t afford to pay your council tax in full, get debt advice and arrange a repayment plan. You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Your council can also send enforcement agents to repossess your property. Bailiffs will charge you a fee for their work, which they may add to the total amount you owe them. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with your council for a discount on your bill.
If you do not meet your monthly repayment deadline, you may have to face the harsh reality of a bailiff’s visit. Bailiffs will require a court order to visit your home, and they will attempt to access your property or seize your possessions to satisfy your debt. If you do not meet this deadline, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau to learn about your rights and options.
In some instances, you can even get locked up for failing to pay your council tax. If you have more than PS5,000 of unpaid tax, your local council may take action against you and issue charging orders on your property. In such cases, you may face up to three months in jail. The council may also take you to court if you fail to pay your council tax.
It is important to contact your council as soon as you become in arrears. You will receive a demand letter from your council at the beginning of each financial year, and it’s vital to pay it on time. Once you fail to pay it on time, you’ll be subject to court proceedings and bailiff fees that can add hundreds of pounds to your bill.
If you can’t afford to pay your council tax, you can request that your employer send you a deduction from your wages. Depending on your income, this deduction can be quite substantial. You can also request to pay a smaller amount than you owe, but it’s not guaranteed.
If you still can’t pay your council tax, the council can issue a liability order against you or your employer. However, this is usually only an option if you’re unable to meet your repayment deadlines. If you don’t want to face a court action, contact your local council first to agree on a repayment plan. If you do this quickly, they may not use this option.
How to Deal With Council Tax Arrears was first seen on Apply for an IVA