Failure to pay
You must pay the amount shown on your council tax bill even if you dispute the amount due or you have a claim outstanding for council tax support, another discount or an exemption.
If you have a question, please contact us immediately. If changes we make to your bill mean you have paid too much, we will refund you the difference or deduct the amount from a future bill.
We can usually make alternative payment arrangements, however this is at our discretion and we are not obliged to do so. We will usually only agree to this if you set up a direct debit.
It is important we pursue late payments promptly. If you miss a council tax instalment, we will send a reminder notice giving you seven days to bring the payments up to date.
If you fail to make a payment on time as set out on your bill, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and we will ask you to pay the full outstanding balance within seven days.
If you do not pay this amount within seven days, we will issue you with a court summons. We will add costs of £50.00 to your bill. We will add another £20.00 to the bill when the court grants a liability order, bringing the total costs added to the account to £70.00.
Once we issue a summons we will only consider setting up a repayment plan over the remaining months of the financial year. This will be on condition we obtain a liability order from the Magistrates' Court. We will include the court costs in the repayment plan.
If the court grants a liability order we will usually pass the case to our enforcement agents. You can avoid this happening by agreeing a repayment plan with us - telephone us on 0300 303 8588 to set one up. We may also arrange an attachment to your earnings or a state benefit /pension credit.
It is not a legal defence to say you have money problems or you should be getting a reduction. You should always contact us to discuss your circumstances - we can usually resolve the matter with you. You should perhaps also be considering getting advice from an agency such as the Citizens Advice or National Debtline https://www.nationaldebtline.org.
How much does it cost?
- We will charge you £50.00 if we issue a summons.
- We will charge you a further £20.00 if we obtain a liability order against you.
- If we set up an attachment to your earnings your employer can charge you £1.00 for each deduction they make from your earnings.
- If your account is passed to our enforcement agents (formerly known as bailiffs) you will be charged significant additional costs. Details of these costs will be supplied in writing at the point we pass an account to the enforcement agents. From 6 April 2014 there are new regulations in place which set out clear guidance on what costs can be charged and at what stage.
These fees are:
Additional % fee if debt under £1,500
Additional % fee if debt over £1,500
Enforcement (taking control of goods)
Sale of goods
Laws and regulation
The law concerning the action the council must take where council tax is not paid on time is contained within the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.
Mendip District Council has signed up to the Local Government Association/Citizens Advice "collection of council tax arrears good practice protocol". Details are available upon request.