Council tax - finding it difficult to pay

Council tax reduction

If you have a low income, or are receiving certain benefits, you may be entitled to a council tax reduction. If you are looking for information about Council Tax Reduction (which replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013), you can find out here about:

We also have information about council tax exemptions and discounts - find out what's available and how to apply here

Council tax enquiries

What happens if you can't pay

If you are having difficulty paying council tax, please contact us at the earliest opportunity to see what we can do. We may be able to agree an alternative payment plan, or assist you with applying for a council tax reduction.

What happens if you don't pay your council tax

If you don't pay your council tax, there are a number of steps we will take:

If you fail to pay any part of any instalment by the date it is due, we will send you a reminder for the amount of the unpaid instalment. You must pay this within seven days.  If you fail to pay the amount shown on the reminder within seven days, you will lose the right to pay by instalments. You will have to pay the full outstanding balance within another seven days.  If you fail to pay the full outstanding balance within 14 days of this date (and within 28 days of the date of original reminder), we will apply for a Summary Warrant (a legal document that allows us to add 10% to the amount you already owe and to ask a Sheriff to take legal action against you). We will add this 10% to your account.

We can only issue two reminders within any financial year.  If you fail to pay the second reminder within seven days, we may immediately apply for a summary warrant.

Summary Warrant action can lead to:

  • you being asked for details of your employment and bank accounts
  • your earnings and bank accounts being arrested
  • deductions being made from your Income Support or Jobseekers allowance
  • Sheriff Officers being involved in the recovery process