If you are struggling to pay your council tax bill, contact us straight away. Don't let the problem get worse.

Each year we will send you a Council Tax bill which tells you how much to pay and the date the payment is due. 

It’s very important that you pay your Council Tax on or before the date it is due or you could get a summons to go to court.

What if you don't pay council tax?



If we do not receive your instalment when it is due we will send you a reminder notice asking you for payment within seven days. If you don’t pay within seven days, you will lose your legal right to pay by instalments. This means that:

  • You will need to pay the full balance for the year in one payment
  • If you don’t pay the full balance we can send you a summons and you will be charged costs of up to £95.00.

If you bring your account up to date, then miss a further instalment, we will send you a second reminder notice. You can only receive two reminders in any one year. 

If you fall behind a third time we will send you a final notice. 

Set up a direct debit to avoid late payments.

Final Notice

If you receive a final notice for Council Tax, you lose your legal right to pay by instalments. Your remaining balance will now be due in full. If you don’t pay the full balance we can send you a summons.

Court Summons

If you receive a summons because you haven’t paid your Council Tax, costs of £65.00 will be added to your account.

At the court hearing we will ask the magistrate to issue a liability order against you. This means the court agrees that you are liable to pay Council Tax at the property in question. A liability order gives us extra powers to collect the money you owe. We will also ask the magistrate to add further costs of £30.00. This means the total costs you will incur will be £95.00.

You can avoid a court hearing if, before the hearing date, you

  • Pay your debt in full including the £65.00 costs
  • Agree to a payment arrangement including £95.00 costs, if the arrangement goes past the court date.

Make a payment

Liability Order

Where you have not paid in full before the hearing date or agreed a payment arrangement with us, we will apply to the magistrates for a liability order.

The liability order, once granted, gives us the power to take different steps to collect money owed, including

  • Obtaining information from you about your work or benefits
  • Deducting money from your pay or benefits to settle your Council Tax
  • Securing a ‘charging order’ on your property if you own it
  • Applying for bankruptcy where the debt is over a prescribed amount
  • Instructing enforcement agents to collect the debt on our behalf
  • Being imprisoned for non-payment

Attachment to Earnings

An attachment to earnings means that your employer will deduct amounts directly from your pay. Your employer can charge you £1 for each deduction for their administration costs.

We can send a maximum of two orders at any one time. This means we could deduct two amounts each time.

The employer must deduct at the rates contained in the AOE deductions table.

Enforcement Agents

Where we have obtained a liability order and no arrangement has been agreed to repay the debt we will instruct Enforcement Agents to collect the debt.

If you receive a letter from an Enforcement Agent on behalf of East Staffordshire Borough Council it is important that you speak with them straight away. 

If you do not contact the Enforcement Agent within 14 days of their first letter, you may be charged fees or goods owned by you may be removed to pay outstanding Council Tax that you owe. Please see their schedule of fees.

The Council will not intervene in any action taken by the Enforcement Agent once a debt has been passed to them unless the circumstances are exceptional.