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What happens if you don't pay your council tax?

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3. Court action if you do not pay

We can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Liability Order; this gives us more options to recover the debt if we need to.

We issue you a Summons and a payment arrangement form in the post; the form is also available online payment arrangement. The Summons will detail the date of the court hearing together with the full amount of unpaid Council Tax and recovery costs that have been incurred.

Only payment in full will stop the recovery action. Make a payment online.

The following are not valid reasons for the magistrates to refuse to grant the Liability Order:

  • You cannot afford to pay
  • You have applied for Council Tax Reduction and are awaiting the outcome
  • You have appealed against your Council Tax band. You must still pay the amount stated on the Summons. We will send you a new bill if the band is changed. You will get a refund if you have paid too much.
  • You have appealed to the Valuation Tribunal regarding your liability, exemption or discount - you must still pay the amount stated on the Summons. We will send you a new bill if the charge is changed. You will get a refund if you have paid too much.