Behind With Your Council Tax Payments? Here’s What You Can Do

Written by on March 14, 2019 in News Flash with 0 Comments

In order to understand what the Council Tax payment is, you need to determine several things. The Council Tax is paid in England, Wales and Scotland, according to the valuation band of one’s property. The local council decides how much to charge for that specific band, an amount that will determine how much a person pays for their Council Tax.

If you are behind with Council Tax payments, you are exposing yourself to several risks that are mentioned in the laws and regulations of the country you live in. The risks are high, and there is no valid reason to stay behind with payments because the government offers a series of measurements that are supposed to help anyone pay their Council Tax on time.

Besides the help offered by the government, there are other financial institutions that could help you pay the Council Tax and keep you protected from the risks associated with delayed payments. One of the best methods to apply for in such situations are IVAs. IVA stands for Individual Voluntary Agreement and it is a formal binding agreement that is set between you and the other party.

The agreement focuses on repaying the debt in a said period of time. Because IVAs are formal solutions, they are adopted in court and they can’t be denied by creditors. Moreover, you won’t deal with creditors any longer, as an insolvency practitioner is the one that handles this through the IVA.

Understanding the Council Tax

The Council Tax must be paid by all adults that own a house or rent one. Full Council Taxes are only billed when two adults live in a house and the costs joint together. For adults that live by themselves, the Council Tax is reduced by 25%. The same goes for adults that live in the same house with other people, but they are not adults (e.g. children, students or other exceptions). There is a 50% Council Tax discount that is applied to people who do not count as adults or to full-time students. The exceptions include student nurses, children, people who suffer from mental impairment, live-in carers, diplomats and more.

Other events can influence the amount of money you pay for a Council Tax. For instance, if a part of a house is demolished and nothing is built on the newly obtained space, the Council Tax may drop. On a similar note, if multiple flats are converted into one single property, the Council Tax may go up. It all depends on the current regulations regarding the calculation of Council Tax band. It is paramount to contact VOA (Valuation Office Agency) and see if there are any changes in how your property is currently evaluated.

Methods to pay

First of all, you need to understand what a Council Tax bill contains. The bill contains information regarding how much you have to pay for one year, what amount is already paid and what dates you can select for paying the rest. Normally, the cost of Council Tax is separated into ten different payments, but if you request it, it can be separated into twelve.

Usually, people choose to pay their Council Tax online, using the service provided on the government’s website. All the payment methods are included on the Council Tax bill as well. Cash payments can be done at Paypoints around the city, at post offices or banks. There are a few other payment methods that are supported, but these are the most popular.

Legal demands and unpaid Council Tax

When a person misses multiple Council Tax payments, legal demands may occur. Before taking action, the council will send a notice which gives you one week to pay the latest Council Tax payment. Otherwise, the yearly amount must be paid in full. The number of reminder notices that one can receive without being sanctioned is two. The financial year ends on March 31 and it is the period in which one can receive these notices. If the notices are ignored, one final reminder will be sent. After the final notice, the council will start taking legal action to retrieve the Council Tax payments. The council will proceed taking money from your wages, your income support, your pension credit, universal credit and so on.

Council Tax Reduction – eligibility

If you can’t afford to pay your Council Tax, the government offers several options to reduce the payable amount. The people who are eligible to receive this benefit include persons who have a low income. In some cases, the Council Tax Reduction is 100%. The tax reduction program applies to people who own houses, rent houses, both unemployed and working. The bill will be reduced according to a series of criteria that influence the final amount. These may include the location (because each council decides for itself how much the Council Tax costs), the circumstances in which a person lives, the overall income (including savings) and other details.

Dealing with Council Tax bailiffs

One method to stay away from bailiffs is through the use of council tax arrears. Bailiffs are allowed by law to visit a person’s home with notice and remove goods from the house to equivalate the unpaid Council Tax value. Bailiffs can also clamp vehicles in front of the property and apply any measurement that could bring back that money to the council. Bailiffs hold more power than debt collectors as specified by the law. In order to say goodbye to this inconvenience, people can simply apply for an IVA. As mentioned in the introduction, there will always be an intermediary person who handles the payments. Bailiffs cannot apply any measurement listed before because it is legally forbidden through the agreement.

Taking the issue to court

If you can’t seem to figure out Council Tax payments and the situation gets out of control, you can take your case to court and figure out what is the next step. The case should be taken to court if you shouldn’t be charged Council Tax in the first place if you don’t receive any bills or the amount charged is not appropriate to your case.

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