What is council tax?
Council Tax is a tax on domestic property collected by your local council. The council use it to pay for local services such as schools, rubbish collection, roads and street lighting. In Scotland it also includes a charge for water and sewerage.
Each property is assigned one of eight bands (A to H) based on property value at 1991 prices, and the tax is set as a fixed amount for each band.
The Council Tax liability is usually paid for the year in ten monthly installments between April to January. To help spread the cost, some councils may allow the liability to be paid over twelve months but this will have to be requested.
What happens if you don’t pay council tax?
Council Tax is difficult to avoid and therefore has one of the highest collection rates of any tax
Your council will send you a reminder notice giving you seven days to pay if you miss a payment. If you don’t pay within this period, you’ll have to pay the whole year’s Council Tax instead.
If you are in doubt as to whether you can pay your Council Tax, then please contact us on 0141 566 7038.
You will be sent a second reminder notice if you miss another Council Tax payment.
You’ll only get a maximum of two reminder notices in a financial year – this runs from April 1 to March 31 of the next year.
If you miss a payment for the third time, then you will lose to right to pay in instalments and will be requested to pay the full liability within seven days.
Council Tax Arrears
If you do not pay the amount due in a lump sum, the council can apply to the Sheriff Court for a Summary Warrant. This is a certificate from the Court stating the amount that is owed. The council also have to obtain a charge for payment before they can recover any sums due from you.
The council does not have to inform you of this process and you will not be given the opportunity to negotiate with the council before it is granted. The summary warrant is granted automatically and you will only know about it when you receive a copy of it.
Summary Warrants are delivered by Sheriff Officers. The Summary Warrant will state amount due and to make payments directly to the Sheriff Officer and not the council. The amount due from the council will increase by 10%.
At this stage, it is advised to contact the Sheriff Officer and come up with a repayment plan.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you have received a Summary Warrant, please contact us today on 0141 566 7038.
If you receive Income Support, Job Seekers, Pension Credit, Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance then you can ask for payments to be made directly from the benefit to your Council Tax arrears. No other payments can be made from any other benefits.
Once a Summary Warrant has been issued, and you do not make arrangements to pay your Council Tax arrears, the council will obtain a Charge for Payment. Once the Charge for Payment has expired (after 14 days), councils have powers to get the money from you by:
• Applying for an Earnings Arrestment;
• Freezing your bank account(s);
• Petitioning for the sequestration of your estate and declaring you bankrupt.
What help is availableWB Debtcare offers a range of financial solutions to individuals in financial distress.
Please contact us on 0141 566 7038 for further advice or alternatively visit our website for further information www.wbdebtcare.com