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What to do if you can't pay your Council Tax

Find out how we can help if you're having trouble paying your Council Tax, and what happens if you don't pay

Contact us

Contact us as soon as possible if you're struggling to pay your Council Tax.

We can spread your payments over 12 months instead of the usual 10 to reduce the amount you need to pay each month.

You should also check if you can get:

If you're already getting a Council Tax Reduction, you can apply for extra help from our discretionary payments.

Council Tax reminders

We'll send you a Council Tax reminder if we don't receive a payment by the due date shown on your bill. You'll need to pay the money you owe within 7 days, and make any future payments on time.

If you get a Council Tax reminder, contact us immediately so we can help you manage your payments.

Court summons

If you get a court summons because you haven't paid your Council Tax, we'll add the court costs to your Council Tax bill.

To avoid further costs, you'll need to set up a Direct Debit instalment plan before the court date.

You should also contact us if you don't think you're the person who should pay, or if you think you've already paid.

Further action

If you still don't pay your Council Tax or contact us before your court date, we may:

  • take money from your earnings from your employer
  • take money from any benefits you get

If there's no other way to recover your debt, we can also:

If the court decides you need to pay Council Tax and you refuse to pay, you could be sent to prison for up to 3 months.

You can find more about what happens if you don't pay your Council Tax on GOV.UK.