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Council Tax FAQs - payments and recovery

Frequently asked questions - payments and recovery

I want to make a payment

You can pay your Council Tax online, or by phone 24 hours a day by calling 01642 726726.

You can also see a list of other ways to pay.

I don't know my account number but I want to make a payment

Please contact us on 01642 726006 (10am to 4pm).

I need to set up a Direct Debit or change my Direct Debit details

You can set up or change a Direct Debit online.

You'll need your Council Tax account number, which is shown on your bill as 'Account No.'.

A guide is available to help you set up a Direct Debit.

Am I in arrears for my Council Tax?

Arrears means you've not made a payment when you should have.

You can use your Council Tax account to check whether you're in arrears. You'll need your Council Tax account number and E-Service key to access your account. These can be found on your most recent bill.

How much do I need to pay to bring my account up to date?

You can check your arrears (the amount you need to pay) online using your Council Tax account. You'll need your Council Tax account number and E-Service key to access your account. These can be found on your most recent bill.

I can't afford to pay my bill, can I lower the instalments?

If you currently pay your Council Tax over 10 months, you have the option of spreading the cost over 12 months. Your annual bill will be the same, but the monthly cost will be less because you'll be paying off your bill over a longer period of time. Please use the contact form to request a change from billing over 10 months to billing over 12 months.

You can also check to see if you're eligible for any discounts or exemptions.

Can I make a payment arrangement on my bill?

If you've received a green bill or an orange reminder, you can't make a payment arrangement as you can still bring your account up to date without being charged any additional costs.

A payment arrangement can only be set up if you've received a court summons (this incurs additional costs).

You must make the payments shown on your bill to prevent possible recovery action being taken, and additional costs being added to your bill.

Why have I received a reminder or court summons?

Your account is in arrears. Arrears means you've not made a payment when you should have.

Please check the payment schedule shown on your annual bill and make sure you've made all of your payments on time and in full.

You can use your Council Tax account to check whether your account is in arrears. You'll need your Council Tax account number and E-Service key to access your account. These can be found on your most recent bill.

I've received a reminder and want to setup a repayment plan

A reminder is a notification that you've missed a payment. You must make the payment and bring your account up to date immediately. This is your final opportunity to bring your account back up to date without incurring additional costs, so we're unable to set up repayment plans at this stage.

A payment arrangement can only be set up if you've received a court summons (this incurs additional costs).

Please make sure that you pay the outstanding amount straightaway to avoid possible recovery action being taken, and additional costs being added to your account.

I've received a summons, do I need to attend court?

You don't need to attend court, but you can attend if you want to.

Whether you attend or not, the court will issue a Liability Order. The Order will say how much you owe and explain that you're legally required to pay that amount. It will also explain the steps which we'll take if you don't pay.

A special arrangement letter will be included with your summons. As long as you make the payments given on that letter, we won't take any further action against you.

A Request For Time To Pay form will also be included with your summons. If you're unable to make the payments given in the special arrangement letter, please complete the form and send it to:

Revenue Services
PO Box 2
Middlesbrough House
Corporation Road
Middlesbrough
TS1 2YL

I've received a summons and want to setup a repayment plan

A special arrangement letter will be included with your summons. It will show the amount you'd need to pay to clear your balance before the end of the financial year. If you want to change the instalments, please contact us on 01642 726006 (10am to 4pm).

A Request For Time To Pay form will also be included with your summons. If you're unable to make the payments given in the special arrangement letter, please complete the form and send it to:

Revenue Services
PO Box 2
Middlesbrough House
Corporation Road
Middlesbrough
TS1 2YL

If you make a payment arrangement, you'll still need to pay £50 for the cost of the summons, as well as £15 for the cost of a Liability Order.

I've received a Liability Order but I've already made a payment arrangement on my summons

If you've already made a payment arrangement with us, all you need to do is keep making the agreed payments on time and in full.

The Liability Order is a document issued by Teesside Magistrates' Court which explains how much you owe and that you're legally required to pay that amount. It will also explain the steps which we'll take if you don't pay.

The Order states that if you've already made a payment arrangement with us then you don't need to take any further action.

I'm on a payment arrangement and have missed my instalments, can I set up another arrangement?

No, if you default on your arrangement (fail to make the payments), you can't set up another payment arrangement for the same year's Council Tax debt. You'll need to bring your unpaid instalments up to date.

If you believe that you've not missed any payments on your payment arrangement, please contact us by completing an enquiry form. You'll need to include evidence that you've made the payments.

Please make sure that you pay your instalments on or before the payment due date.

Bailiffs have been to my address

If your account has been passed to enforcement agents (bailiffs), you'll need to make payment or come to an arrangement with them directly.

If you believe that you've not missed any payments on your payment arrangement, please contact us by completing an enquiry form. You'll need to include evidence that you've made the payments.

I'm not happy about recovery action taken

If you believe that you've made all of your payments on time and in full, please contact us by completing an enquiry form. You'll need to include evidence that you've made the payments.

I'm bankrupt or in an IVA/DRO

If we've been given confirmation of your bankruptcy/IVA, we'll write off your debt up to and including the tax year in which your bankruptcy/IVA was granted.

You'll still need to pay Council Tax for every year after your bankruptcy/IVA order was granted, and you'll be issued an annual bill for this.