Council Tax Enforcement
Produced in partnership with Alan Murdie of Council Tax Legal Services
Council Tax Enforcement

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Alan Murdie of Council Tax Legal Services provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Council Tax Enforcement
  • Demanding the tax
  • Issue of a summons
  • Service of the summons
  • Withdrawal of the summons
  • Liability Order Hearings
  • Representatives
  • The liability order
  • Enforcement Options Available to the Local Authority
  • Information requests served upon debtors
  • More...

Council tax was introduced as the primary source of collecting income from local residents by local authorities in England on 1 April 1993. The legislation also covers Wales but the administration of council tax in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Government. The council tax replaced the community charge (or, as it was more commonly known, the 'poll tax') which itself had replaced domestic rating in April 1990. See Practice Note: Council tax.

The scheme of enforcement of council tax is derived from regulations made by the Secretary of State under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (LGFA 1992), pursuant to the powers set out in Schedule 4 modelled upon that which operated for the community charge.

Regulations provide a range of enforcement measures which may be used in the event that a taxpayer fails to pay some or all of a council tax demand.

Demanding the tax

Demand notices are issued annually and must be accompanied by specified information laid out in regulations which are regularly updated. Separate demand notices must also be issued for each period of liability and each dwelling. The billing, collection and recovery of unpaid council tax is governed by the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, SI 1992/613 as amended.

Since 5 November 2003, billing authorities have had the power to serve council tax demands electronically under the Council Tax and

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