Problems paying your bill
Review of empty council tax properties
The council is reviewing empty council tax properties in support of the government's initiative to tackle the national shortfall in affordable housing.
The review is being managed on our behalf by NEC Software Solutions. If your property is selected for review, you will receive a letter asking you to update the property record for your address. You do not need to complete a review unless you are asked to do so.
If you are contacted and have any questions, or if you have lost your letter, please contact NEC Software solutions on 01494 707195.Fill in a council tax enquiry form
Problems paying your bill
If you are having problems paying your Council Tax bill, always let us know as soon as possible by filling in the form above with details of your situation. If you don't let us know that you are having difficulty making regular payments, you may be charged further costs. We may be able to come to an arrangement that you can afford.
Changing your payment date
You can arrange with us to pay your Council Tax in weekly or fortnightly instalments for the current financial year. If you set up a Direct Debit you can pay on 1st, 15th or 23rd of the month.
Help if you're on a low income
If you are on a low income you may be eligible to receive Council Tax Reduction.
If you are late paying your Council Tax bill, we will send you a Reminder Notice. If you do not bring the instalment or instalments up to date within seven days, you will be issued a Final Notice and will be required to pay the full amount you owe for the whole year.
If you do not make payment/s in accordance with the Reminder Notice, or we do not hear from you, you will be sent a Summons and incur a cost of £95.00. If you receive a Reminder Notice, Final Notice or Summons and are unable to pay, email email@example.com immediately to agree a suitable payment arrangement.
Unless the Summons is served incorrectly, we will not normally withdraw it. At the court hearing, we will apply for a Liability Order which will give us powers to collect the money you owe. You will incur a cost of £5.00 when we obtain the Liability Order, bringing the total in fees to £100.00.
Once we have obtained a Liability Order, we can deduct a set amount from your salary or wages. If you receive Job Seekers' Allowance, Income Support or Employment Support Allowance, we can ask the Department for Work & Pensions to deduct money from your Benefit.
If all other attempts to reach a payment arrangement fail, we will pass the debt to our debt collection agency to collect.
You will incur further costs and charges and if the enforcement agents are unsuccessful, we can apply to the Magistrate's Court for committal proceedings. We can also commence proceedings to make you bankrupt. As a result of either of these courses of action, you will incur further costs and charges.
Fee structure for enforcement agents Stage Fixed fee Percentage fee Trigger Compliance fee £75.00 0% Enforcement agent receives instruction Enforcement £235.00 7.5% of debt > £1,500 First attendance at relevant property Sale £111.00 7.5% of debt > £1,500 First attendance for purpose of transporting goods to place of sale
Attachment to earnings
If you have received an attachment to your earnings or you are an employer who has been asked to make deductions from an employee's earnings, the following table contains guidance on what amounts will be deducted from the wage:
Daily: Net earnings Deduction rate (%) Not exceeding £11 0 £11.01 - £20 3 £20.01 - £27 5 £27.01 - £33 7 £33.01 - £52 12 £52.01 - £72 17 Exceeding £2020 17 in respect of the first £72 and 50% in respect of the remainder Weekly: Net earnings Deduction rate (%) Not exceeding £75 0 £75.01 - £135 3 £135.01 - £185 5 £185.01 - £225 7 £225.01 - £355 12 £355.01 - £505 17 Exceeding £505 17 in respect of the first £505 and 50% in respect of the remainder Monthly: Net earnings Deduction rate (%) Not exceeding £300 0 £300.01 - £550 3 £550.01 - £740 5 £740.01 - £900 7 £900.01 - £1420 12 £1420.01 - £2020 17 Exceeding £2020 17 in respect of the first £2020 and 50% in respect of the remainder
Please pay on time!
What happens if you don't pay your bill:
We are only required to send you one reminder notice in a financial year. If you don't pay within 7 days of the due date you may be sent a final notice and lose your right to pay by instalments.
If you receive a final notice you must pay the full amount. If you are unable to pay in full you must contact us straight away so we can help you.
If you don't pay or contact us, we will issue a court summons.
If you get a court summons for non payment, £95 of court costs will be added to your bill. You can pay in full to stop a Liability Order being granted.
You can contact us to discuss this prior to court. Please do not attend the hearing.
Arrangement after Liability Order has been granted at Court
An arrangement may also be made after a liability order has been granted, subject to specific requirements. You must contact us within 7 days of court hearing.
Only standard arrangements will be approved. These are instalments either greater than the value of attachment of earnings or which clear the debt within the current tax year and where the debtor has not defaulted on previous arrangement.
No arrangement will be made without first obtaining the debtors employment and benefit details.
If no payment arrangement has been agreed after liability order has been granted then the debt will be passed to the Councils external enforcement agent (Marston) after 7 days.
Marston will make contact to discuss your circumstances within 14 days from the date of the letter. No charge will apply at this stage. After 14 days, if you haven't made contact further enforcement action will be taken. This could mean an Enforcement Agent will visit you and fees will be charged in addition to the amount you owe.
- Compliance stage £75
- Enforcement stage (debt is less than or equal to £1500) £235
Enforcement stage (debt is more than £1500) £235 + 7.5% of the debt value above £1500
Problems paying your bill
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