What-is-Council-Tax

What is Council Tax Debt?

This article will tell you more about what is Council Tax Debt. But, let’s look at Council Tax first.

Table of contents:

    Why Do We Pay Council Tax?

    Council Tax is levied on households in the United Kingdom. It is used to fund local services such as refuse collection, street lighting, road maintenance, and policing. Households are liable if they occupy a property that is subject to the tax.

    Who Should Pay Council Tax?

    You will have to pay if you are aged 18 years or over, living in a home. The full Council Tax Bill is determined by 2 adults living in a home. Spouses or partners living together are both responsible for paying tax.

    The main people that have to pay are:

    1. Resident freeholder – a person that owns the property
    2. Resident leaseholder – a person that bought a lease property
    3. Resident tenant – a person that bought a property under a lease, rent, or other types of agreement with property unit owner.
    4. Resident licensee – e.g. household guests, lodgers, hotel/ hostel visitors, children living in their parents’ home.
    5. Other residents
    6. The owner, if no one lives there.

    If you move house, make sure to tell your local council. Also, let them know when the house does not have a Council Tax Band.

    How Much Council Tax Do I Pay?

    You will need to know 3 things:

    • The valuation band of your house – Your Council Tax Band might be different if you live in England and Wales, or Scotland.
    • The amount your local council charges for that band.
    • If you can get a discount or exemption from the complete bill.

    It might be possible for you to obtain a reduction if you have a low income or receiving benefits.

    Who Is Exempt?

    • Full-time students, apprentices, and youth training trainees.
    • Those caring for a disabled person, that is not a partner, or under 18.
    • Patients living in hospitals, care homes, some hostels, or night shelters.
    • People with severe mental disabilities.
    • People who are 18 and 19 years old, that have left, or are currently attending school.
    • Care workers with low income.
    • Members of a religious community – This is a person with no income, and main job is prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering or a mixture of any of these.
    • People in prison.
    • Members of the visiting force e.g. soldiers, and military personnel.

    Who Do I Pay My Council Tax to?

    You can pay online or debit card at your local council’s website. Have your Council Tax account number at hand, found on your Council Tax Bill.

    There is the option of spreading the payment, over 10 or 12 months. With this, you will have to pay monthly.

    Contact your local council. They will register you and send you a Council  Tax Bill, informing you on how and when to pay.

    What Happens if You Don’t Pay

    You should contact your council if you are finding it difficult to pay for it.

    If you miss a payment, your council will send you a reminder notice, giving you 7 days to pay., asking you to pay the whole year’s amount instead. If you don’t pay the whole amount within 7 days, legal action might be taken.

    When you don’t pay after the legal action, your council can make your employer pay the Council tax from your wages.

    What Is Council Tax Debt?

    Council Tax Debt, also known as Council Tax Arrears, happens when you missed a Council Tax payment. In this situation, you owe money to your local council. As soon as you realise that you missed a payment, contact your local council immediately and speak to someone in the Council Tax office.

    If you ignore those missed payments, the council could take you to court. As a result, you may have to pay court fees, bailiff fees, along with your debt.

    Council Tax Debt should be prioritised before other debt. We have an article that tells you how to get help with Council Tax Debt.

    Can Council Tax Debt Be Written Off?

    These forms of arrears ca be written off, if:

    • Your property is uninhabitable because of damages caused by fire or flood.
    • You are in severe hardship, for example, if you have no money left to pay Council Tax after paying for your other household utilities.
    • You are suffering from severe physical or mental health conditions.

    Where Can I Pay My Debt?

    You need to contact your local council as soon as possible that you missed a payment. Also, inform them about your upcoming bills, particularly if you will struggle to pay them.

    To Summarise:

    Now that we know what is Council Tax, you should try to register and pay for it as soon as you can, if you are eligible, because it not only helps you become a good citizen, but it saves the hassle arising from missed payments.

    Contact us Consumer Debt Help via our email, for further help on your debt. Why not download our free E-Book, which offers 10 simple tips on how to quickly get out of debt.

    Complete our eligibility tool so that you can find out if you are entitled to government help with your debt.

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