Payment and recovery

This page relates to the payment of Business Rates or Council Tax bills.

Wherever possible, your initial bill will show the total amount to pay for the financial year. This bill may be amended if your circumstances change and you become entitled to a discount. Your annual bill (issued in March each year), will ask you to pay by 10 monthly instalments from April to January, on the 5th of each month for Council Tax or the 1st of the month for Business Rates.

Instalments should be made so we receive them on or before the date shown on the bill. The best way to ensure this is to arrange payment by Direct Debit. You can pay your annual Council Tax or Business Rates bill in 12 instalments, rather than 10.  We can also extend your monthly instalments through to March during the year. You need to contact us in writing to do this.

Council Tax Direct Debit payers have the option of paying on the 5th, 18th or 28th of the month.

Find out more about different ways to pay

Exceptions include: You might not be able to pay by instalments for bills issued part way through the financial year, bills for small balances, or where instalments have not been paid on time in the past. 

Reminders and final notices

If you receive a reminder or a final notice, you will need to bring your payments up to date by the date shown on the notice, or your right to instalments may be cancelled without further notice to you. If you bring your Council Tax instalments up to date, and you are late making another payment, a further reminder will be sent. Only two Council Tax reminders are sent in any financial year.

If you are late making further payments your right to pay in instalments will be cancelled. Future payments must be on time as further recovery action may take place without further warning. Once your right to instalments is cancelled, if you do not pay the outstanding amount, you will be issued with a summons to appear at Magistrates Court. We will obtain a liability order against you. Both courses of action will result in you being charged costs.

If you have recently made a payment when you receive a reminder, or you feel the amount due is incorrect, you should contact us on 01827 709530 to ensure all payments have been received, and that no changes have been made to your account that you are not aware of.

Summonses and Liability Orders

The council may summons you to court for non-payment. This will involve £60 costs being added to your account immediately. You will be summonsed to attend the Magistrates Court and if you do not attend, action will be taken as if you were there.  

This action will be the granting of a Liability Order, together with a further £35 costs. Please note that if you do not dispute the charge, and simply need to make an arrangement to pay, you do not need to attend the court on the hearing date. It is advisable to contact the recovery team on 01827 709463 before the hearing to deal with any queries you have and to make arrangements for payment.

If a liability order is granted against you, the council gains additional powers to recover the outstanding debt, which again can involve additional costs to you. These options include:

  • The use of enforcement agents (which can include your goods being taken for sale to reduce the amount you owe). Referral of cases includes costs of at least £75
  • Attachment of earnings (deductions direct from your wages - used for council tax)
  • Attachment of benefits (deductions direct from your benefits - used for council tax)
  • A Charging Order made against your property
  • The initiation of insolvency proceedings (bankruptcy for a person or liquidation for a company)
  • The initiation of committal action, where you can be sent to prison for up to three months.

If you have any questions regarding this information, or you need help regarding payment or recovery, please contact the recovery team on 01827 709463.