Council tax arrears

Council tax arrears are a priority debt. This means that the council has strong powers to get their money back.

National Debtline can give you advice and information on the types of action your council can take against you and how you can negotiate with them to pay what you owe.

Dealing with your priority debts and Council tax for more information on how to deal with council tax arrears.

Sometimes the council can ask bailiffs to visit your home to help them to collect council tax debt. We have a fact sheet that can help if this is happening to you.

See our fact sheet:

Council tax recovery.


This fact sheet explains the powers bailiffs have if they are collecting a council tax debt from you. This fact sheet also tells you how you can deal with the debt.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • understand what bailiffs can and can’t do;
  • deal with bailiff action;
  • help you negotiate with the council about the debt; and
  • make a complaint about bailiff or council behaviour.

This fact sheet includes:

  • information about the fees bailiffs charge; and
  • some useful contacts and links for you to get further help.