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Council Tax Arrears Scotland: A Comprehensive Guide

Council Tax

Have you missed paying Council Tax? Then, it signifies that you owe a debt to the council. Additionally, you’re in arrears, and you’re not the only one who is dealing with Council Tax Arrears Scotland. A recent survey has stated that almost 30% of people are now considering diverse debt charities to get rid of Council Tax Arrears Scotland. 

So, if you are struggling too with Council Tax Arrear and you’re a resident of Scotland, then don’t freak out. Further, Council Tax Arrears can go through a vast amount of debt. The statistics have even concluded with the amount of £999 on average. Thus, paying off such a huge amount of debt in a lump sum can go a little bit hectic. Find out what to do when you are stuck with Council Tax Arrears Scotland, here.

Council Tax Arrears Scotland: Things you Need to Know

Council Tax is one of the priority debts. It means that you are bound to pay Council Tax beforehand you pay any kind of non-priority ones. And, unsecured and credit loans are some of the examples of non-priority debts. 

If a water meter supplies you with the water, then you need not include the charges to council tax arrears Scotland; otherwise, the council would include the water charges in the bill. And the arrears would count in a similar procedure.

The council tax depends on the worth of your home in Scotland. Additionally, it relies on the number of adult residents of your home. When you are at least 18-year-old, you become a liable payee of the Council Tax bill. Well, the Council Tax won’t spare the joint tenants even if the bill doesn’t include their names. Similarly, if you are married, you and your partner have to make the payment to the Council Tax bill. This is termed as ‘Joint & Several Liability’.

What if you Can’t Make Payment towards Council Tax Bill?

In case, you find out that the Council tax Bill has accumulated into a larger amount and you can’t deal with them at one shot, then don’t fret out. You can ask the council whether you can make smaller instalments to clear off the priority debt. Additionally, you might have to be consistent with the payment of the council tax bill monthly.

 If you’re not that sure about how to pay and how to decide the amount, then talk to a financial advisor. A proficient financial advisor would listen to your budget specifications and suggest accordingly. 

If you don’t pay attention to clearing off the Council Tax bills then the local council might pressurize you. And, if you keep neglecting the circumstances, then the local council might hand over the liability to the sheriff officers. Tackling sheriff officers on your own is nothing less than a nightmare.

Missing your Council Tax Arrear Scotland Payment

For your kind information, paying off Council Tax bills are mandatory for every resident. You need to pay off the bill either every month or at the beginning of the year. However, the council will remind you after a time span of two weeks of missing a single payment to the council. Basically, the council sends a letter to the individual who has missed the payment. Check the letter to discover how much you need to pay, furthermore.

On the other hand, the council can accoutre a warrant for sewerage and water arrears as similar as Council Tax Arrears Scotland. However, you need to pay the money in the next seven days and chill. The debt will be written off. Overall, you can proceed with paying your Council Tax bill as usual or in instalments.

Unfortunately, if you don’t succeed in paying off the debt, you might receive a final warning letter from the council. With the acceptance of the final letter from the council, you lose the opportunity to pay the Council Tax Arrears Scotland in instalments. Again, the council would command you to pay off all your council tax in one shot, within the next seven days. And, you are liable to pay off the public water, as well as sewerage charges for the year.

Further Consequences

Now, if you haven’t still paid off the Council Tax bill, the council can send you a demand. They named the demand for payment as a summary warrant. The summary warrant describes how and when you can pay the tax. In addition to this, the council would top-up a charge of 10% on the arrear you need to pay. 

Meanwhile, the liability of collecting the Council Tax Arrears Scotland goes to the sheriff officers. In case you can’t afford the lump sum payment, ask the sheriff officers whether they would provide you with an instalment policy. The contact details of sheriff officers would probably be mentioned in the summary warrant.

Will you Receive Imprisonment for not Paying off Council Tax?

Bear the fact in mind that council tax is regarded as a priority debt. So, you should make sure that you keep your council tax prime while drafting the monthly budget. As a case of extremities, you might have to face an imprisonment statement, especially if you can’t back yourself up with a good reason. Well, such a case is rare. But, you shouldn’t take any chances with paying off the Council Tax Arrears Scotland. Ensure that you clear off the debts as soon as possible.

Chances to Reduce the Council Tax Bill

If you are still struggling with the payment of the Council Tax Bill and the reasons are legitimate enough, then you can avail a reduction in the Council Tax Bill. With a discount, you need not pay a partial amount of the bill. 

Here are some of the available modes of tax reduction. For proper application, you need to contact your council.

Council Tax Reduction

If your income is comparatively lower, then you can avail this support. Termed as Council Tax Support, it allows you to pay a part of the council tax. Depending upon your circumstances, it can entirely write off the council tax. These are the following terms that might help you to get a discount:

  • You are the single adult in your home
  • You share the property who are not eligible as council tax payee

People who are not counted as council tax payee are:

  • A student nurse
  • A full-time student
  • Someone suffering from a mental disability 
  • Someone receiving a specific disability benefit
  • An apprentice

Moreover, you can avail the advantages of Second Adult Rebate in case you share the property with one of these:

  • An adult who earns magnificently low
  • A person who is unable to pay the council tax bill
  • Finally, an adult who doesn’t pay you the rent

The terms and conditions regarding Second Adult Rebate are quite complicated. Get in touch with your council to discover whether you can apply for it.

Sheriff Officers

In case you consistently fail to pay off the council tax bills, the council would hand over the liabilities to local sheriff officers. Sheriff officers possess the right to enter your property. Additionally, they can issue court orders against you. If you don’t take precautionary actions, then it can hamper your financial stability. Additionally, it can negatively impact your image and reputation. In this case, you can contact an experienced financial advisor to find the true way of escape from the repossession of your belongings.

Summary Warrant

After the council issues the warning letters and you still have not made any payment to Council Tax Arrears Scotland, you would receive a summary warrant. It is equivalent to court orders. But, you need not attend any court hearing. Local authorities can execute diligence with the help of a summary warrant. Debt recovery is possible with such diligence terms. 

Here are a few examples of diligence in Scotland:

  • Bank Arrestments
  • Earning Arrestments
  • Attachments
  • Exceptional Attachment Orders

The local authority has to serve a Charge for Payment before executing any of the above-mentioned diligence. The Charge for Payment provides you with the chance to clear off your debt in 14 days. If you fail this time, too, then the Sheriff Officers are appointed to collect the debt.

Time to Pay Order

Well, summary warrant and Charge for Payment are not the only ways to clear off your Council Tax Arrears Scotland. Still, you can pay off the debt with easy instalment options. The Court can provide you with a solution named a Time to Pay Order. 

Usually, the council requires the debt to be paid off in the current year. However, the Court can extend the period for clearing off your debt. Make sure that you pay off the existing debt before it hits the new financial year. Or else, it would just sum up the existing new Council Tax bills.

Finally….

Don’t take Council Tax Arrears Scotland charges and letters too lightly. If you can’t make the payment, contact your council to pay off the existing debt in instalments. In case you can’t find a way to get out of the whirlpool of debt, ask for help from your nearby financial advisor.