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    • Netty77
    • By Netty77 6th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
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    Netty77
    Council Tax help
    • #1
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
    Council Tax help 6th Sep 17 at 7:32 PM
    Hello, I'm new to this but asking for some kind advice. I currently pay my council tax in 10 monthly instalments. I am also in my 4th year of an IVA so my funds are limited.
    I have always paid my council tax on time. Then in April this year, some 'kind' soul hit my stationery car leaving damage. I had to get it repaired to travel to work. (I live in a rural area with no access to public transport)
    I contacted the tax credits office to say I would be late paying my council tax that month and they were fine with this. I paid it on my next pay day which was the 27th of the same month.
    Since then, I have been paying at the end of each month. I contacted them after getting a letter telling them I will always pay that months due tax but it may be after the due date of 15th. I explained I have an IVA and that I would speak with my IVA provider to apply for a payment break to allow me to get this straight again. I am waiting for this to be sorted as they recalculated my finances and advised I should apply for a 'funds paid' with my creditors.
    Today I have had a final demand for the year when I actually made Septembers payment yesterday! So I'm not actually in arrears any more.
    Would they still refer me to a magistrate when I've kept in contact with them, explained my situation, asked for their understanding and have actually never let it slip into another month?
    It seems very harsh and I know I will lose sleep over this tonight so if anyone can help I would be truly grateful.
    Thank you in advance
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 6th Sep 17, 7:50 PM
    • 4,778 Posts
    • 9,627 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:50 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:50 PM
    Technically council tax is an annual charge. Councils choose to split that into monthly installments. They are due on the 1st unless you set up a direct debit which may have a different due date.

    You are paying late. My council issues reminders letters any day from the 10th to around the 20th.

    I assume when you say you contacted the tax credits office you mean you contacted the council? Tax credits and council tax are entirely separate things.

    I'd suggest you call the council and either ask for 12 monthly instalments if you are struggling to make your 10, OR they may offer you a February installment so you become one month ahead instead of behind as you are now. If you have a previous history of good payments they should have no problem with that.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Netty77
    • By Netty77 6th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Netty77
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I'm no longer in arrears as I paid the September instalment yesterday. (I paid the August instalment on 25th August). Their final demand is dated Monday 4th. Yes it was the council tax department at my local council I have spoken to, both on the phone & via email.

    I'm just wondering whether they will still demand the rest of the year when I'm no longer in arrears. Seems very harsh to target me when I've kept in touch, explained it was a temporary problem and have never been more than 2 weeks late
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 6th Sep 17, 8:46 PM
    • 11,541 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:46 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:46 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I'm no longer in arrears as I paid the September instalment yesterday. (I paid the August instalment on 25th August). Their final demand is dated Monday 4th. Yes it was the council tax department at my local council I have spoken to, both on the phone & via email.

    I'm just wondering whether they will still demand the rest of the year when I'm no longer in arrears. Seems very harsh to target me when I've kept in touch, explained it was a temporary problem and have never been more than 2 weeks late
    Originally posted by Netty77
    I'm not sure you understand what marliepanda was telling you.

    The whole CT amount for the year is technically due at the start of every financial year. However councils often allow people to pay it over 10 or 12 months.

    But if you miss one of those instalments, the entire yearly fee becomes due and will remain that way unless you contact the council (and the council agree) to set up another payment plan.

    This likely would have been better for you as they'll usually split the missing payment over the remaining instalments. So if your payments were £120 and you had 8 payments remaining (excluding the missed one) then you would just completely ignore the missed payment and have an extra £15 added on to every remaining payment.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Netty77
    • By Netty77 6th Sep 17, 9:08 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Netty77
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:08 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:08 PM
    Yes I understand completely thank you.

    I simply wondered if anyone knows if they would continue with a final demand when I have been in touch regularly etc. and the problem I contacted them with no longer exists.
    • Netty77
    • By Netty77 6th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Netty77
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    It's a bit puzzling to me that after 4 emails and 2 phone calls explaining my situation, they never once suggested that spreading the payment was an option. It would have helped so much.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 6th Sep 17, 10:01 PM
    • 11,541 Posts
    • 8,669 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:01 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:01 PM
    It's a bit puzzling to me that after 4 emails and 2 phone calls explaining my situation, they never once suggested that spreading the payment was an option. It would have helped so much.
    Originally posted by Netty77
    Perhaps they thought you were just making that one month late and would be on time the next month?

    Tbh my years dealing with my local council has told me that some of them cause more problems than they solve while others will go above & beyond.

    I'd contact them though and make sure a payment plan is set up for the remaining balance to be on the safe side.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 6th Sep 17, 10:20 PM
    • 10,068 Posts
    • 5,752 Thanks
    CIS
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:20 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:20 PM
    Although Council Tax is legally due as an annual charge they are legally required to grant the statutory right to pay by instalments - this right remains until it is lost and only at the point the full outstanding amount becomes due immediately.

    Today I have had a final demand for the year when I actually made Septembers payment yesterday! So I'm not actually in arrears any more.
    Once two reminders have been issued then the final action on the next missed payment would be to issue the final notice - this can be issued the day after the payment was due and gives you the 7 days to pay the full amount in one go.

    As soon as payment is not made on the day required then you are in arrears with the required instalments, unless the Local Authority have agreed a later date then there is nothing to give a person the dispensation to delay the payment (for whatever reason). In respect of the final notice the moment it issued the amount became due in full - the fact you made a payment after that doesn't alter the final notice being issued (unless you've cleared the balance in full).

    All you can do at this stage is to ask the Local Authority if they will revoke the final notice but that would be their decision. You have legally lost the right to pay by instalments at this stage so it would need them to withdraw the final notice before the instalments could be re-instated.

    Craig
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 7th Sep 17, 12:30 PM
    • 1,013 Posts
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    Manxman in exile
    • #9
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:30 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Sep 17, 12:30 PM
    Speak to them again and explain what's happened.


    Years ago I missed a monthly cheque payment and got a polite reminder. I missed another the following year and got a final demand and threat of court action! Contacted them, apologised and they were fine.


    I then changed to DD to avoid it happening again!
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