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Council tax payment difficulties

If you're having difficulties paying your council tax bill then please get in touch with us on 0300 7900381* to discuss a payment arrangement. We will try to accommodate any reasonable offer. Don't wait for a reminder or a summons to drop through your door.

*Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.

 

These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.


 

What happens if I do not pay my council tax?

If you do not pay you will be sent a reminder. If your payments are arriving late, you will still receive a reminder.


You must pay the amount on the reminder notice within seven days to bring your account up to date - and you should continue to pay on time otherwise you may lose the right to pay in instalments. If you receive a final notice then you will have lost the right to pay in instalments. If you do not pay the full amount or reach a satisfactory arrangement then a summons will be issued.

What happens if I do not pay after getting reminders?

If you fail to pay after receiving reminders then your name will be passed to the magistrates court - and a summons for non-payment will be issued.

What happens now?

Once a summons has been issued West Lancashire Borough Council will apply to the magistrates court for a liability order for the full amount owed. Court costs of £75.00 will also be added to your bill.

An arrangement to pay form will be included with the summons. This arrangement includes the costs that will be applied for at the hearing. Paying the instalments does not prevent court action.

Do I have to go to court?

It is your right to appear in court if you have been summonsed. However, you do not have to attend court but the hearing will still go ahead and West Lancashire Borough Council will still request that £75.00 costs are awarded against you.

If you choose to attend court it is advisable to contact the Council Tax Section on 0300 7900381*.

 

*Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.

 

These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.


At the hearing the magistrate will ask you if you have a valid defence which would prevent a liability order being issued. A valid defence maybe as follows:

  • The bill has been paid in full
  • You were never issued the bill
  • You were never sent a reminder/final notice giving 7 days to pay
  • You were not sent the summons at least 7 days after the full balance was due to be paid

West Lancashire Borough Council only has to prove that notices were sent out to you. We do not have to prove that you received them.

 

If there is no valid defence then the liability order will be granted by the magistrates.

What happens next?

Once the liability order has been issued by the courts it gives the local authority extra powers to recover outstanding council tax.

We can:
  • demand information about your job and/or benefits
  • deduct money from your salary
  • deduct money from your Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance
  • deduct money from your Allowance if you are an elected member of the council
  • use bailiffs to take goods to sell to cover the amount you owe
  • ask for a "charging order" to be made against your property
  • make you bankrupt, or put a company into liquidation
  • apply for you to be sent to prison

Contact us

If you are having problems or you require further information then please contact the Council Tax Section on 0300 7900381*.

 

*Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.

 

These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.

Related information

Last Updated: 10/21/2013

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West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire L39 2DF
Tel: 01695 577177 | Email: customer.services@westlancs.gov.uk