Can Council Tax Arrears Chase You? Understanding the Reasons

council tax

It is unusual if you fail to pay back the loaned money. And, if the due amount is the Council Tax, then it counts you in for a debt. But, Council Tax Arrears how far back? What will happen when you are unable to pay Council Tax debts? These are certain questions that are crucial and you need to find out the answers. 

If the council debts are somehow missed, then never wait for them to communicate with you. You have to communicate with them on the very first note. After that, tell them your reason for skipping the payment. On making a further delay, then the situation can easily get out of hand. 

Council Tax: A Brief Perspective

The tax that belongs to the council is also called debt of maximum priority. This is just because the Council is directly related to the UK government. Arrears take place when a person has skipped the payment to the council. The Council Tax holds a major power in the United Kingdom and will eventually make you pay the remaining amount, anyhow. 

Who can Deliver the Tax?

Normally, delivering the tax that belongs to the council will depend upon your age, the total monetary value of the residence and the total number of people present in it. Your age must be over 18 years. In addition to that, having a spouse will involve either of you to pay the tax. Without your name on the bill, nobody can demand the due money from you. 

Council Tax Arrears How Far Back?

Seems like you are confused with the term. It means that when the tax payment is not possible, what will happen? There are a few mandatory aspects that need immediate focus. Set up a meeting with the Council and let them know your financial condition. Moreover, it will be beneficial when you show them your total budget. Hopefully, the situation is similar to them for better understanding. 

In the Case of Missing Arrears

Regarding the missing payment, the local authorities have some daunting rights against you. These are the additional actions, regarding the missing of arrears. 

  • Delaying the payment for more than two weeks will result in the arrival of a reminder. 
  • After the reminder letter arrives, within 1 week make the payment, there will be no issues regarding that. 
  • If you again failed to make the payment even after the reminder letter, then the payment might go on for a longer period of time. 
  • In the form of the last warning, you will be given another 7 days for making the payment. 
  • If you still fail to pay, you will be taken to the court by the Council. 

The citizens of Scotland, Wales, as well as England have different types of Court processes. They are not at all similar to each other. After knowing the entire procedure, you can easily relate the procedure of Council Tax Arrears how far back. 

Common Procedures of Council Tax Debt Collection

  • Deploying the bailiffs 
  • Interfering into your monthly income
  • Conquering all the extra added values

Council’s Necessary Actions 

  • The occurrence of bankruptcy with a changing order
  • Loosing of assets
  • Imprisonment for the time being

Eliminating the Council Tax Arrears

Apart from knowing about Council Tax Arrears how far back, some obvious steps will help you in breaking down the arrears. Of course, hard work and dedication towards it are necessary to make it a success. But, the rules and regulations vary from different councils, with specific aspects. Opting for an IVA will help you in resolving the arrears once and for all. 

The maximum impact will take place in terms of debt relief order and bankruptcy. If you have settled down with the IVA, then it will help to protect you against the debt collector. It will only come into the act when your creditors approve it. 

Detailed Information, On-Demand

On having outstanding dues to the Council as tax, they might be demanding you to provide some of the detailed information. Some of them are: 

  • Name and residential address
  • Total monthly or yearly income 
  • Any type of given discounts or expectations regarding that
  • Desired identity number
  • Having any other debts apart from this

The receiving time to the council regarding this matter is just 2 weeks. If you provide any type of wrong or false information, then it is a criminal offence and dealing with it gets tough indeed. For further details, contact the responsible person that manages the debts for you. 

Bailiffs: Roles and Responsibilities

Facing bailiffs? This situation can arise because of due debts and you need to know Council Tax Arrears how far back. When you have failed or violated the conditions placed by the Council regarding the tax, in their absence, the bailiffs can forcefully enter your home. When you refuse to listen to them, they can take over your valuable assets. 

Bailiffs Inside your Home, What to do now?

As the bailiffs or the agents of enforcement are in your home, their demand will just be a signature in the agreement papers of Controlled Goods. You need to enlist the valuable items in the agreement. Gathering those items will be done within two days. If you don’t agree to sign, then they will forcefully lock up the valuable items, and take them in their custody. 

List of Items, the Bailiffs will Avoid

As the due payments of the Council Tax will invite the bailiffs to your home, they will never take such items that are of your regular use. The list includes clothes, bedding equipment, kitchen items, utensils and others. If you move your attention towards the stationery items, they will not even touch your books, telephones, computer systems and others. 

The bailiffs will only grab those items that belong to you. This happens just because your name is on their list. If something belongs to someone else, then you have to show a valid proof. Only after that, they will leave those items behind. 

The Bailiff Charges, as per the Council

The council will make you pay the charges of the bailiffs. For the primary visit and checks, you have to pay an amount of 70 to 75 pounds. If they manipulate your belongings, then the charges will be 200 to 240 pounds. On removing the goods, it will be 100 to 115 pounds. Before paying the bailiffs, it is better to have a closer look at the papers where there are the mentioned fees. 

Imprisonment Due to the Failure 

Couldn’t pay the council tax? This can result in imprisonment of up to 3 months. This happens in very rare cases. In the due course, you will also get a brief idea about the Council Tax Arrears how far back. 

The Council Tax can take Away your valid Beneficiaries

After all the warnings and notifications, if you are still unable to pay the council tax, then they will make an attempt to collect the money from some other places related to monetary benefits. Some of them are like monthly income, pension and personal credits, job allowances, and more. This will eventually affect your daily life. 

Receiving Discounts 

On following each and every process regarding the payments, you might not have to face severe actions from Council Tax Arrears. There are certain discounts that the Council gives people those who pay on time. 

When you are living alone, and paying the Council within the order, then you will receive a discount of a minimum 25% on the total amount of owed money. This will happen even if you are a part-time or a full-time student. 

Above the age of 60 years, it is obvious that you will get a monthly pension. In such a case, the facility of extra discount on the owed money is available from the Council. On the other hand, if your assets are at the mortgage, then the Council might reduce the money to half. 


If you are an adult and a citizen of England, you will get the rebate. Further, when you share the same home with another adult, a rebate is considered. But, there are some conditions on receiving the debate, such as: 

  • Least amount of income
  • Without paying a single pound on council bill
  • Doesn’t have to pay the rent 

These types of rules and regulations are a bit complicated. That is why you must check all of them at the earliest. After that, proceed towards accepting the rebates. 

Council Tax and its Liability Orders

When you are failing to pay the remaining amount, then the council might opt for the release of liability order against you. In this incident, the magistrate will issue the order. In addition to that, the council will also add some extra charges upon the total due amount. If you, as well as the other person, haven’t paid the charges at all, the order will be issued on both of you. 

Rectifying the Errors in the Council Tax Bill 

It is obvious that there might be some concerning an error in the bill. As the Council is solely responsible for it, you have to make a contact with the local authority. After that, file a complaint regarding the matter. On the other hand, while approaching against the error, if you are treated improperly, then informing the local authority will be fruitful. 

The time span of the reply will be at least 10 to 12 weeks. In this time period, the Council will never demand, and you do not need to worry about Council Tax Arrears how far back. As the reply approaches, you might or might not be happy with it. 

In case you are not happy, then establish good communication with the Local Ombudsman that belongs to the English Government, Public service Ombudsman of Wales and Public service Ombudsman (Scottish). 

Want to Launch a Complaint?

If you are not flexible with the type of dealings done by the Council, then, of course, you can launch a complaint. The normal time duration of the reply after the complaint is 10 to 12 weeks. If you are not satisfied with the response, then ask for the Ombudsman to check and have a look into the matter. 

Regarding the complaint of the council of England, connect with the Local Government of Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO). Regarding the Council of Wales, contact with the Public Service Ombudsman that is located in Wales. 

Activities of the Council Regarding the Complaint

Apart from accepting the dues that are unpaid to the Council, they will also react to your complaint against them. Apologizing towards you is the common and primary concept. Moreover, if they have done something wrong, then they will do all the necessary rectifications. Rechecking the formal decisions and making some necessary changes in them. Furthermore, they can also reduce the amount from the principal due to the gratitude of recovery. 

In case, you are having some complaints about the bailiffs sent by the council, then the complaint must be launched, the official website of the bailiff department of the United Kingdom. Before launching the complaint, make sure that the bailiffs are certified. Without the certifications of the bailiffs, the justice department will not be able to take any legal steps towards them. 

Summing Up…

It is better to keep a backup deposit when you borrow money from the council. Otherwise, facing all of these complications will be very much hectic, the legal actions might also affect any other personal or professional activities. For the missing or not at all paying the debts of the council, the entry of the bailiffs can also damage your reputation in the neighborhood.