Council tax What happens if you don't pay your council tax?

A court summons

If you don't pay your council tax or don't keep to an agreement to pay, we can issue you with a court summons.

We will ask the magistrates' court for a Liability Order. This is a demand for you to pay the full amount you owe, plus £79.50 costs.

Make an arrangement to pay

If you are able to you should set up a direct debit or pay your council tax in full.

Make a one-off payment or set up a direct debit

If you have received a summons and want to make a payment offer, use this form to tell us. You will need to provide details of self employment, employment or benefits as part of your payment offer.

Defending yourself in court

You have the right to attend the court and offer evidence as to why you aren't liable for the debt.

If you have a valid defence and would like to defend yourself at your hearing you can request to defend yourself using this form.

If you decide not to attend court, contact us anyway. We will try to come to a reasonable arrangement with you for payment:

  • telephone: 0161 234 5002

Or speak to your local Citizens Advice if you prefer.

If you go to the court hearing, the magistrates will ask if you have a valid defence which will stop a liability order being granted. Valid defences are explained on the summons.

If you don't have a valid defence the court will grant a Liability Order.

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