What happens if I don't pay my Council Tax?

I have received a summons to court

If you receive a summons because you haven't paid your Council Tax, costs of £109 will be added to your account. 

At the court hearing, we'll ask the magistrates to issue a liability order against you. This means that the court agrees that you're liable to pay Council Tax at the property in question. A liability order gives us extra powers to collect the money that you owe. We'll also ask the magistrate to add further costs of £12.00.

You can avoid a court hearing if, before the court date if you pay your debt in full (including the £109 costs)

You have the right to attend the magistrates’ court on the hearing date, for a ‘bulk hearing’. This means we've issued a large number of summonses for the same date and time as yours. The court will only hear individual cases if you have a valid defence against the issue of a summons. The courts decide what is a valid defence.

To help you, we have listed the main defences:

  • the property named on your summons is not shown as an entry in the valuation list

  • the tax has not been properly set

  • the amount has not been demanded in accordance with the statutory provisions

  • the amount demanded has been paid in full

  • more than six years have elapsed since the day on which the sum became due

  • bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings have been initiated

The magistrates won't take into account if you are able, or not able, to pay.