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What if I don't pay my council tax?

If you can't pay your council tax, please call the recovery team on 01543 308885/7 at the earliest opportunity, so we can come to a mutual agreement. If you are on a low income you may also be eligible for local council tax support.

Find out more below:

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Will we issue you a reminder if you don't pay?

Your council tax is payable on or before the dates shown on your annual bill. If a payment is missed, the council will issue a reminder notice. You will have seven days to bring your account up to date. If you bring your account up to date, no further action will be taken.

We will only issue two reminders in each financial year.

If you fail to pay a third time, your right to pay by instalments will be withdrawn and a final notice issued and we will begin recovery action against you (see below).

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What happens if you don't pay

If you don't pay your council tax following reminders, your right to pay by instalments will be withdrawn and the full balance will become due within a further 7 days. No further or final notice will be issued.

If your account then remains unpaid, we will request that the magistrates issue a court summons, costing £70. This is a request for you to appear at court and answer to the complaint that you have not paid your council tax. The magistrates will then issue a liability order, costing £25.

A liability order gives us the right to take further action to collect any money outstanding. This may be an attachment on your earnings or benefit, or to instruct an enforcement agent to collect the arrears by removing and selling your goods. This will incur you additional charges. A charge of £75 will be incurred immediately when the debt is passed to the enforcement agent. If they visit your property, a minimum charge of £235 will be incurred. We will not intervene once a debt has been passed to an enforcement agent.

Ultimately we can make an application for you to be committed to prison.

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Action we may take against you

If you can't pay your council tax, please call the recovery team on 01543 308885/7 at the earliest opportunity, so we can come to a mutual agreement. If you are on a low income you may also be eligible for local council tax support.

If you fall into arrears, we may take various recovery action, including:

  • issuing reminder and final notices.
  • making deductions from benefits.
  • making deductions from earnings.
  • obtaining court orders.
  • referring the debt to enforcement agents.
  • requesting the court to make a charge on your property.
  • bankruptcy action against the debtor.
  • committing the debtor to prison.
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Any questions?

Please call the recovery team on 01543 308885/7.


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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.