Late council tax payments and arrears

If you have an enquiry regarding payment of your Council Tax or action we are taking against you please click the appropriate link below:

I have received a reminder or second reminder or final notice

I have received a summons

I have received an Attachment of Earnings Order

I have an Attachment of Earnings Order for my employee

I have an enquiry about deductions from my benefit

I have an outstanding debt under Liability Order without an arrangement in place

I have received an Enforcement Notice from an Enforcement Agent

I have a payment arrangement direct with the Council

Explanation of the Council Tax payment process:

Council Tax bills are issued annually. Usual payment is by 10 monthly instalments, from April to January. This number will be less if you are sent a bill later in the year. You must make payment by the due dates shown on your bill (under instalment plan).  We must receive your payment on or before the due date. If we don't receive your payments on time, we will begin action to recover the debt straight away.

If you want to pay by 12 monthly instalments you need to ask us before the next financial year starts in April.

These are the rules about collecting your council tax:

1. The first time that you fail to pay a council tax instalment(s) on time, you will be sent a reminder asking you to bring your account up to date within a set time. If you do this you can continue to pay by instalments.

2. If you fall behind with your payments again, we'll send a second and last reminder asking you to pay the outstanding instalment(s) within a set time. If you do this, as in the case of a first reminder, you can still continue to pay by monthly instalments. 

3.  If you are late again we'll issue a final notice. This means that your right to pay by instalments is withdrawn and the full amount outstanding on the notice must be paid in full.

4.  If you receive a reminder or final notice and you do not pay the amount requested within the specified time period, we'll send a summons to appear at Colchester magistrates’ Court and you'll incur costs.

5.  If you do not pay the summons in full before the hearing then we will apply for a liability order which will incur you with further costs. An arrangement can be made after we have obtained a liability order.

6.  If you fail to make or keep to an arrangement, then we will start enforcement action to recover the outstanding balance.  We can take the following actions to recover outstanding debts:

  • Attachment of Earnings
  • Deductions from Benefits
  • Enforcement Agents
  • Charging Orders
  • Insolvency Proceedings

Recovery Protocol & Procedure December 2018

Last updated on: 08/03/2023 - 13:25