Information on what to do if you are having problems making payment and what will happen if instalments are not paid on time.
If you are having problems making your payments
If you have difficulties in paying your Council Tax it is important that you phone us on 01738 477430 as soon as possible.
We can help you by reviewing your circumstances to make sure that you are receiving all the discounts or reductions you may be entitled to.
The Council's Contact the Welfare Rights Team can also assist in ensuring that you are receiving all the benefit income that you are entitled to.
If this does not result in a reduction in the amount due, we will help you to arrange a way of making payment based on your own personal circumstances.
You may also find it beneficial to spread your payments over 12 months rather than the usual 10 months through our extended options when you pay by setting up a Direct Debit.
Remember, if you are having problems or think you might have problems with payment, contact us as soon as possible.
If you fall behind with your payments
We will send you a reminder notice if you miss an instalment or don't pay the full amount due. You must bring your payments up to date within 14 days. You can then carry on paying by instalments as usual.
A maximum of two such reminders will be issued to you.
If instalments are not up to date
If you do not bring instalments up to date or if there is a third missed payment, the amount you owe for the rest of the year will then be due immediately and we will apply for a Summary Warrant.
This is a procedure where the Sheriff Court authorises a penalty of 10% of the sum due at the time to be added to your account. It then allows the Council to pass your account to a Sheriff Officer for collection.
We use Stirling Park as our Sheriff Officer and you should respond immediately to any contact in order to avoid further legal action and possible penalties.
If you do not respond you may have money deducted from your wages or taken from your bank account. This will incur additional costs that you will be liable to pay.
If we are aware that you are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance, rather than pass your account to the Sheriff Officer, we will apply for a deduction direct from your benefit payment.
If you are in receipt of maximum Council Tax Reduction you are still required to pay Water and Wastewater (sewerage) charges.
The way we recover any unpaid Water and Wastewater charges is changing if you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Income-related or contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based or contribution-based Jobseekers' Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
Where, following the issue of a Council Tax bill that is for water/wastewater charges only, a reminder notice is issued for non-payment of any instalment, Perth & Kinross Council will make an application to the DWP to have deductions taken from the above noted benefit awards under the Water Direct scheme.
If the application is successful a deduction will be taken and this deduction will be equal to the ongoing weekly water/wastewater charge due for the current financial year.
This will ensure that ongoing charges are met and to avoid any water and wastewater debt.
The application process does not require your consent and does not require a Summary Warrant meaning that no 10% penalty should be incurred.
If you have arrears for earlier financial years the standard Council Tax arrears deduction will also continue to be made.
If you wish to challenge a decision that the DWP has made about a deduction from your benefit for water and wastewater charges you should consult an experienced advisor such as:
If you cannot pay, or have a number of debts, you may wish to contact your Local Citizens Advice Bureau. The Perth office can be contacted on 01738 450580, Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Comprehensive guidance on what you should do if you have debt and contact details for agencies that may be able to provide you with assistance is available at www.stirlingpark.co.uk/debt-advice.
You can also access debt and budgeting advice from Scotland's Financial Health Service created by the Scottish Government, who have teamed up with Money Advice Scotland to provide the Scotland's Financial Health Service Helpline. You can speak to dedicated advisers on 0800 707 6696 from 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday and between 8.00am and 2.00pm on Saturday.
Remember - you should also contact this office to keep us informed of your circumstances. If we do not know that you are experiencing difficulties we will continue to take action to recover any amounts due.