How We Recover Unpaid Council Tax

Debt Recovery and Vulnerable support pilot

The Anglia Revenues Partnership has been invited by the Cabinet Office to take part in their second Debt Recovery and Vulnerable support pilot.

The pilot is aimed at sharing data to help increase the management and recovery of debt by utilising HMRC PAYE and Self-Assessment data and helping to identify and support vulnerable debtors by utilising DWP Income based benefit data.

The sharing of information is covered under the Digital Economy Act 2017 which provides for powers to share information to help reduce debt owed and to combat fraud against the public sector.

The data share will commence in February 2022.

If you have been issued a summons for an unpaid amount of Council Tax the Magistrates Court may grant a liability order which is a document that allows the council to collect unpaid Council Tax from you.

Unpaid Council Tax can be collected in a variety of ways, for example:

  • by instalments
  • through an 'attachment of earnings' order - where an amount  is taken directly from your earnings until the outstanding debt is paid attachment of earnings regulations
  • by deducting money from your benefits until the outstanding debt is paid
  • referring your case to the  ARP Enforcement Agency (bailiffs) - any enforcement agency fees and charges will be added to your final bill

If we are unable to recover the debt by these methods further recovery action can be taken which may include:

  • a charging order - this is an order that secures your debt against your home. You may be forced to sell your home in order to pay your debt with some of the proceeds going towards paying what you owe. Find out more at: Citizens Advice, Charging Orders
  • insolvency - you could be made bankrupt so your assets can be released to pay your debt
  • committal - if you are found to be willfully refusing to pay your Council Tax, you can be imprisoned


We would much rather work with you to settle any outstanding bills outside of court and encourage anyone to contact us if they are having problems paying their Council Tax.

If you cannot pay what you owe, tell us immediately.  You may also want to seek advice from organisations like Citizens Advice or the Money Advice Service.