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What happens if I don't pay my Council Tax?

What happens if I don't pay?

Failure to pay

Your right to pay Council Tax by monthly instalments may be withdrawn if any instalment is not received by the due date. The full amount outstanding to the end of the financial year can then be recovered. In these circumstances the council may be forced to take further action against you that will incur additional costs. If you experience any problems in making payments when they are due, email us at: ctax@wokingham.gov.uk immediately for help and advice.

First reminder notice

If you fail to make a Council Tax payment we will send you a reminder notice.

Second reminder notice

If you pay the first reminder but don't make any other payments, we will send you a second reminder notice.

Final notice

On the third missed instalment or late payment of the year, you will be sent a final notice requesting payment in full for your total outstanding Council Tax immediately.


If you fail to pay the full amount of Council Tax owing we will issue a summons against you. This will result in additional recovery costs being charged to you.

Debt recovery

We will ask the Magistrates to grant a Liability Order against you, which will enable us to take action to recover the debt. 

This could be done in one of the following ways:

  • Issuing an Attachment of Earnings Order to your employer 
  • Requesting the Benefits Agency to take it out of your benefits 
  • Instructing enforcement agents to seize your possessions 
  • Applying for a bankruptcy order 


As a last resort a committal summons will be issued to commit you to prison.

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