Council Tax is normally paid in 10 monthly instalments, followed by two months of not making any payments. How much Council Tax you pay will largely depend on your personal circumstances, which valuation band your property is in and how much funding the council needs to keep running its services. If you are on a low income, you could be entitled to some help towards paying the tax. This is called Council Tax Reduction (CTR).
Who is eligible for a Council Tax reduction?
You will only be entitled to apply for CTR at a property if it is actually the place in which you live.
It must be your only residence or the place you mainly stay.
Before you even apply for CTR, you should make sure you are the only person responsible for paying Council Tax on the property.
You may be responsible for the tax even if your name isn’t on the bill, as in some cases you may be jointly responsible for the council tax with someone else.
Some will let you pay the sum a bit late, so you can carry on making future payments as previously scheduled.
Others may be able to increase your future payments to make up for the missed payments.
If you are on a low income, you could even get a reduction on your bill, as it varies by council and individual case
The most important thing is to get in touch with your local authority as soon as you have missed a payment, they will often help you out.
What if I don’t deal with my Council Tax debt?
First, you will get a reminder from the council about two weeks after you miss a payment.
If you pay within seven days then you don’t need to do anything else and the matter won’t go further.
If you don’t, however, pay within seven days or it’s the third time you have been late with Council Tax payments that year, the Council will send you a final notice.
The final notice will tell you to pay all of your council tax for the rest of the year within a seven-day period.
Again, if you don’t pay the council usually applies to the courts for permission to collect the debt from you, known as a liability order, and after this, your council can get your employer to take the money straight out of your payslip.