Dealing with your priority debts

What happens if I don't pay my council tax?

Extra advice:

complaining about council tax

If you feel that the help you get to pay your council tax is wrong, write to the council and ask them to look at the decision again. if you are not happy with the outcome, you may be able to appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal or the Council Tax Reduction Panel. Your council should tell you if you can do this.

If you feel that your home is placed in the wrong band, you may be able to ask the local assessor to place it in a lower band. Contact us for advice.

The council will usually tell you to pay your bill in 10 monthly instalments but they may accept weekly payments. If you find that you can't pay the full monthly instalment, don't just stop paying!

  • If your circumstances have changed, you may now qualify for help with paying your council tax bill from your local council. Contact us for advice.
  • Keep paying what you can afford.
  • Contact the council and try to come to an arrangement. Use your budget summary to help explain your situation. You can create a budget summary using our budget tool, Your budget.

If you don't keep to any payment arrangement you make with the council, they may apply to the sheriff court to make a 'summary warrant' for the full amount they say you owe. The court will also add a charge equal to 10% of the amount you owe. The order will state that you are due to pay your council tax and have not done so.