Worried about Paying
Problems Making Payment to your Council Tax Account.
There are several ways you can pay your Council Tax which are listed on the back of your Council Tax bill. You can pay by 10 or 12 monthly instalments for the annual bill. Payments can also be made by Direct Debit on 1, 15 or 28 day of each month.
Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay as the money is taken each month, as long as you have the funds available, and any increases or decreases are adjusted automatically. Your payments are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee, so you will be notified in advance of any changes to the instalment amount.
For people who may find monthly payments difficult, the bill can be paid by weekly or fortnightly payments. If you choose this method you will need to notify the Council Tax team, so that we can amend your instalment details officially to ensure you don't get reminders.
If the dates offered above do not suit your lifestyle and budget, you can pay by Standing Order using our bank details on your Council Tax bill. Please notify the Council Tax team so they can set your arrangement date accordingly to prevent you receiving reminders.
For more information about paying your Council Tax, please see How to Pay.
If you believe you cannot pay your Council Tax
We are determined to collect Council Tax to protect services such as children's and adult social care, education, waste and recycling collections, food hygiene and many other vital services. We also need to safeguard the interests of regular payers who pay on time.
Where people fall behind with their payments to the extent we have to take them to court, they will have to pay the additional costs involved. We want to help our customers to prevent this. However, in some cases it is necessary for us to take additional action through reminders, summons and court action to safeguard the essential services Council Tax pays for.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please complete the following 3 steps:
Visit the Entitled To Website and complete a welfare benefit check. This will help you make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
Check the tables to see if you are entitled to a reduction from Council Tax Reduction. If you believe you are entitled to a reduction, please complete the form here.
3. Check our Discounts and Exemptions page to see if you are eligible for any reductions in your bill.
Once you have completed the 3 steps above, if you are still unable to afford your Council Tax instalments you could have an issue with budgeting.
Like your rent or mortgage, child maintenance and utilities such as gas and electricity, Council Tax is a priority bill. This means your Council Tax should take priority over other expenditure like mobile phones, subscription television services, broadband and eating out. A budget planner can be found at Money Advice Service Budget planner.
If you believe you are not going to be able to make a payment you should contact us straight away. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please quote your Council Tax account number in your email.
We can help by
- discussing what you can afford to pay
- making sure you are getting any reductions you may be due
- picking a way to pay that is best for you
- picking a payment date that is best for you
- putting you in touch with free and experienced debt advisors if you need more help
We work in partnership with free independent debt advice agencies. These organisations can provide you with practical help and advice on how you can maximise your income and deal with your debts, and give help with budgeting. If you would like to be referred to an agency, you need to contact us first.
Where else can I get help?
We want to make sure that we can help our customers if they have money worries. You can get clear, impartial help from the Government sponsored MoneyHelper, that is free of charge, as well as confidential and independent.
They can direct you to a debt advisor straight away - call them on 0800 138 7777 or go to their website.
Other sources of advice or information include:
- Contact the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 for free confidential advice.
- Visit the National Debtline for financial advice.
- Your local Citizen's Advice can help visit Citizens Advice.
- Locally, you can contact Homemaker South West for advice and support.
A handy budget planner is available at The Money Advice Service.