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Council Tax Debt

The local authority will usually take steps to recover any unpaid council tax debt. This could include sending letters and making phone calls, or even taking you to court and issuing a warrant for your arrest.

To avoid such a situation, it’s important to keep up to date with your payments and make sure that you have the money available to cover your bills. It’s also worth considering setting up a payment plan with your local council to help spread the cost of your council tax over time.


Alternatively, you may be eligible for a council tax reduction, so it’s worth checking with your local council to see what you could be entitled to.


Finally, depending on your financial circumstances, there may be other ways to help...


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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Helper, an independent service set up to help people manage their money. National Debt Advice is not associated with Money Helper.

Dealing with Council Tax Arrears

Your council tax bill is a 'priority debt', as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay. If you’re struggling to pay your council tax we recommend getting free and impartial Debt Help as soon as possible – start by completing our Debt Calculator or call our advisors on 0161 640 0401.

How to get a council tax payment plan?


Firstly, you need to look at your monthly budget so you can see if there are any ways you can make savings to help you pay your council tax arrears – we will do this as part of your debt advice session


Contact the council and ask them to agree to a payment arrangement, based on what you can afford – stick to this payment plan.


Check if you’re entitled to council tax reduction (if you’re on a low income or benefits) or a reduced bill if you live alone.

How is Council Tax Calculated?

Council tax is typically calculated based on the rateable value of a property. The rateable value is an estimate of the property's value for tax purposes and is used to calculate the amount of council tax due each month. The amount of council tax due will vary depending on the local authority and the area that the property is located in. The amount of the council tax can be checked on your local council website.

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What qualifies for Council Tax Reduction?

The council tax reduction scheme is a scheme that offers financial support to low-income households who are struggling to pay their council tax bills. It is run by local authorities in England and Wales, and is funded by central government.


The scheme reduces the amount of council tax that eligible households need to pay. The amount of reduction depends on the household's circumstances, and can be as much as 100% of the council tax bill. To be eligible for the scheme, households must meet certain criteria such as income, savings, and capital.

The scheme is aimed at those on low incomes; however, some households may be able to get some help even with higher incomes. It is important to note that the scheme only applies to council tax and does not cover any other bills or charges.


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