How to Pay Council Tax or Business Rates
You have options on how you can pay your Council Tax bill or Business Rates:
- This is the safest and easiest way to pay Council Tax or Business Rates. It can save you time, effort and money.
- Simply set up or amend your Direct Debit online or download the Direct Debit form, complete and post it back to us at Wychavon District Council, PO BOX 11, Pershore, Worcester. WR10 1PU.
- You can choose to pay on the 1st, 10th, 15th or 25th of the month if you switch to paying your Council Tax or Business Rates through your Bank or Building Society account by Direct Debit. Your annual bill will be collected in 10 installments April to January.
- If you apply for Direct Debit through the financial year you will be notified of the dates and amounts of the installments to be collected. You will receive a minimum of 10 working days notice before the first collection date.
You can pay over the internet, using a credit or debit card, here using our Online Payments Facility.
You can pay 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by using our automated telephone payments line 03300 889 686.
If you would like to pay by standing order please instruct your bank or building society to make payments on or before the installment dates on your bill.
The standing order (quoting your Council Tax or Business Rates account number) should be set up in favour of:
Wychavon District Council
Sort Code: 40-47-17
Payment by cash only to your local PayPoint store. You will need to take your Council Tax bill with you as it contains a barcode which is used for reference. There is a transaction limit of £200.00. If the amount to pay exceeds this limit, then multiple payments can be made. There will be no charge for the payment.
- Cheques should be sent to Revenues and Benefits, PO Box 11, Pershore, WR10 1PU
- Make the cheque payable to WYCHAVON DISTRICT COUNCIL and your Council Tax or Business Rates ACCOUNT REFERENCE and ADDRESS should be written on the back.
- Please note that a receipt for payment by cheque will no longer be produced and sent back to the payee.
- Please DO NOT send cash through the post.
Sign up to use Self Service
Register to use a Self Service account for a better experience of managing your Council Tax bill and Business Rates.
Most bills are paid over 10 months, and you can get a tax break in February and March.
However you can choose to pay over 12 months, if you would like to pay your bill over 12 months please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Revenues and Benefits, PO Box 11, Pershore, WR10 1PU providing your name, address and Council Tax number (if you know it).
If for any reason, you don't pay your council tax on time we are legally obliged to issue documents advising you of this and warning you what could happen next. What document you get depends on how many times you have missed your payment. It could be a reminder, final notice or a summons.
If you receive a summons then the matter is likely to go to court where we will be applying for a liability order. A liability order gives us various powers to help us to recover the debt.
If you have problems paying your council tax please contact us - we may be able to make a special arrangement with you.
Council tax payments should reach us on the day the installment is due at the latest. If you are paying by cash/cheque, this will be the 1st or the 15th of the month. If you are paying by Direct Debit this will be the 1st, 10th, 15th or 25th of the month.
If you receive a reminder, you must bring your account up to date within seven days. If you fall behind a second time you will be sent a second reminder.
If you fall behind for the third time you will receive a final notice. This confirms that you have lost the right to pay by installments and all of your council tax for the year must be paid immediately.
Please Note: If you do not make an arrangement with us the next step will be the issue of a summons.
If you have received a final notice and your council tax remains unpaid, we will take further recovery action to obtain the money due. This is done through the Magistrates Court.
You will be sent a summons that will tell you how much money you owe and when the hearing will be. You will be charged costs for the issue of the summons.
If you can't pay the amount in full please complete the payment proposal form sent with your summons. This may be posted to us or handed in at one of the council shops in Droitwich, Evesham or Pershore.
You can attend court on the date given on the summons and speak to the Magistrates. You do not have to go to court if you don't want to - the decision is yours.
Please Note: The court cannot agree on a payment plan with you. If you want to do this, please contact us.
At the court hearing, we will ask the Magistrates to issue a liability order against you. This can be done even if you are not present.
A liability order gives us powers to recover the money you owe. These powers are shown below:
- To request information
The person(s) named on the liability order must supply information to us regarding their employment and income details. It is a criminal offence not to supply this information once requested, or to give false information.
To attach earnings.We can order your employer to take money from your wages or salary. This is then sent to us to pay your debt. Your employer must tell you each time an amount is deducted and they can charge you for making these deductions. It is an offence for your employer not to comply with the order.
- To make deductions from Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance.
We can ask the Benefits Agency to take money from your Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. This is sent to us to pay your debt.
- Charging Order.
We can apply to the County Court for a legal charge to be put on your property for the amount due. We will automatically receive the money, plus costs when the property is sold.
- Bankruptcy / Insolvency.
We can start these proceedings against you through the County Court.
- Taking Control of Goods (removal of goods to pay a debt).
We employ Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs) to collect the debt. More costs will be added to your debt. In some circumstances, your goods may be removed and sold.
Enforcement Agents are authorised with a certificate from the Courts. They are instructed to collect both Council Tax and Business Rates by the Council and act under a formal code of conduct. They make visits to properties to collect the unpaid Council Tax or Business Rates. They can accept payments in a wide range of forms including cash, bankers draft, credit cards etc. Where they do not receive payment they can remove goods which can be sold at public auction.
They can in certain circumstances take possession of goods but leave them on the premises while an arrangement is agreed and paid.
If your debt is passed to our Enforcement Agents then you will immediately incur a £75 fixed fee for each liability order passed to them. This fee has been set by The Ministry of Justice, not the council, and is non-negotiable.
Before an Enforcement Agent visits your property, you will receive at least one letter by post giving you the opportunity to agree on a repayment plan with them to avoid an Enforcement Agent visiting you. At this stage, the £75 fixed fee is already in place on your account and will need to be included in the repayment plan.
Enforcement Agent visits
If you do not contact the Enforcement Agents Office to agree on a repayment plan, or you fail to pay the plan you agreed, then you will be visited at your home by an Enforcement Agent. As soon as an agent is instructed to visit, a £235.00 fixed fee (plus 7.5% if the debt is over £1500) will be applied to the outstanding amount. This fee has been set by The Ministry of Justice, not the council, and is non-negotiable. During the visit, you will be asked to make payment in full (including the £235.00 fee), enter into a controlled goods agreement or goods can be removed from your property.
Controlled goods agreement
You may be given the opportunity to set up a repayment plan by entering into a controlled goods agreement. This involves the Enforcement Agent making a list of your goods equal in value to the debt outstanding to secure the payment arrangement. You must not dispose of or sell any goods on the controlled goods agreement until your debt is paid in full.
Removal of goods
If you do not sign the controlled goods agreement, or you fail to pay the plan you agreed, then the Enforcement Agent can enter your property and remove goods. There is an additional £110 fee (plus 7.5% for any balance over £1500) if goods are removed for sale. Goods that are removed will be sold at auction. If a debt still remains after this, then the Enforcement Agent will contact you and further enforcement action can take place. If the goods are sold for more than the outstanding debt, then the credit can be returned to you.
The Council instructs a company called Dukes Bailiffs who can be contacted as follows: Dukes Bailiffs Ltd, Dukes Court, 7/8 Newcastle street, Stone, Staffs, ST15 8JT.
Telephone: 01785 825500
Committal to Prison
Unlike almost every other debt, you can be sent to prison for up to three months for not paying your council tax. Even if you have other debts where you are being pressed for payment, it is vital that you make payment of your council tax a priority.
The most important thing to do if you are having problems paying your council tax is to contact us. The longer you leave it the more costly it's going to be. Costs and charges can add a lot to your original bill so contact us early to avoid them.
There are a number of things we can look at:
Even if we find that you're not entitled to any discounts, exemptions or benefits we may still be able to help by making a special arrangement with you.
Remember - the sooner you speak to us about your problem the easier it will be for you and us to resolve it.
Independent help and advice
You can contact the following not-for-profit organisations for free confidential and impartial advice, or for details of where to get such advice in your area
For advice and information on debt and other topics, visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau (address in the phone book) or go to www.adviceguide.org.uk/
Telephone 0808 808 4000 or visit www.nationaldebtline.co.uk for debt advice and information
StepChange Debt Charity
For debt advice throughout the UK phone 0800 138 1111 or visit www.stepchange.org
Money Advice Service
For free, unbiased and easy-to-access money tools, information and advice, visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/ or phone 0300 500 5000 to speak to a money adviser.
Member centres offer debt advice including specialist advice for minority communities and people with disabilities. For further information phone 0300 777 0107 .