What happens if you don't pay

You must pay your Council Tax as indicated on your Council Tax bill.

If the Council Tax is not paid on time, the Council has difficulty in paying for the services it provides and in paying the County Council and the Police and Fire Authorities their portion of the Council Tax.

If your Council Tax instalments are not paid then we will send you a reminder notice.

What if I receive a Reminder Notice?

If you receive a reminder notice, you must pay all the instalments you owe within seven days. If you don't, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and you will have to pay the whole amount for the year immediately.

If you have received a reminder and are finding it difficult to pay the outstanding amount within seven days, please contact us on the Council Tax Helpline number 01543 464285 or call in at one of the Council's offices.

What if I receive a Summons?

If you have received a Reminder or Final Notice and the Council Tax included in these notices remains unpaid, the Council will take further recovery action to obtain the money due.

This is done through the Magistrates Court. We will apply to the Court for a summons to be issued against you for the full amount of Council Tax you owe. The summons will also tell you when the hearing will be.

You will be charged costs for the issue of the summons.

What if I can't afford to pay the amount outstanding?

If you can't pay the amount in full including costs before the court date please contact the Council Tax Helpline on 01543 464285. It is unlikely that the summons will be withdrawn but we can agree a mutually acceptable payment plan with you.

What will happen in Court?

You can attend Court on the date and time given on the summons and you can speak to the Magistrates. Officers from the Council will also be at Court if you want to discuss payment of the money you owe.

You do not have to go into court if you do not want to.

At the Court hearing the Council Officer will ask the magistrates to issue a Liability Order against you. This can be done even if you are not present.

What is a Liability Order?

A Liability Order gives the Council legal powers to recover the money you owe. These powers include:-

To request information - The individual named in the Liability Order must supply information regarding their employment and income details. It is a criminal offence not to supply this information once requested, or to give false information.

To attach your earnings - The Council can instruct your employer to deduct money from your wages or salary and to send it directly to the Council to pay your outstanding Council Tax. The amounts deducted will depend upon how much you earn and your employer can charge you each time a deduction is made.

To make deductions from your Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance - The Council can instruct the Benefits Agency to deduct money from your Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance and to send it directly to the Council.

Distress (Removal of your goods to pay your Council Tax) - The Council employs external Bailiffs to collect outstanding Council Tax where:-

  • you fail to make a payment agreement with us or 
  • do not comply with the payment agreement or
  • you do not supply employment details or
  • you do not receive Income Support/ Job Seekers Allowance

This will add more costs to the amount you have to pay.

The Bailiffs will firstly visit your property to obtain payment in full, make a mutually acceptable payment arrangement or to remove goods to the value of the Council Tax including costs outstanding. When making a payment arrangement the bailiffs will ask to enter your property to make a list of goods. If you fail to honour the payment plan the bailiff could return later to remove the goods. The goods will then be sold at public auction.

Bankruptcy/Liquidation - The Council can start these proceedings against you if you owe more than £750.

Charging Order - The Council can apply to the County Court for a legal charge to be put on your property for the amount due. The Council will automatically receive the money plus costs when the property is sold.

Committal to prison - In some circumstances, you can be sent to prison for not paying your Council Tax.

For further information please telephone the Council Tax Helpline on 01543 464285

Or email: counciltax@cannockchasedc.gov.uk

Or write to us at:

Local Taxation and Benefits

Cannock Chase District Council

PO Box 28

Civic Centre

Beecroft Road



WS11 1BG.


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