If you can't pay

We are determined to collect Council Tax to protect services such as children's and adult social care, education, waste and recycling collections, food hygiene and many other vital services. We also need to safeguard the interests of regular payers who pay on time.

Where people fall behind with their payments to the extent we have to take them to court, they will have to pay the additional costs involved. We want to help our customers to prevent this. However, in some cases it is necessary for us to take additional action through reminders, summons and court action to safeguard the essential services Council Tax pays for.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please complete the following 3 steps:

  1. Visit the Entitled To Website and complete a welfare benefit check. This will help you make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.

  2. Check the tables below to see if you are entitled to a reduction from Council Tax Reduction. If you believe you are entitled to a reduction, you can apply below:

  3. Check our Discounts and Exemptions page to see if you are eligible for any reductions in your bill.


Council Tax Reduction Bands

Council Tax Reduction Level Single Person
(Weekly income)
Single Person
(Monthly Income)
Couple (no children)
(Weekly income)
Couple (no children)
(Monthly Income)
Passported 85%*

Relevant benefits

Band 1 
85%

£0.00 to £95.00

£0.00 to £412.00

£0.00 to £138.00

0.00 to £598.00

Band 2
80%

£95.01 to £132.00

£412.01 to £572.00

£138.01 to £180.00

£598.01 to £780.00

Band 3
50%

£132.01 to £192.00

£572.01 to £832.00

£180.01 to £240.00

£780.01 to £1,040.00

Band 4
25%

£192.01 to £246.00

£832.01 to £1,066.00

£240.01 up to £294.00

£1,040.01 to £1,274.00

 
Council Tax Reduction Level Family/Single Person with 1 Child
(Weekly income)
Family/Single person with 1 Child
(Monthly Income)
Passported 85%*

Relevant benefits

Band 1 
85%

£0.00 to £220.00

£0.00 to £953.00

Band 2
80%

£220.01 to £282.00

£953.01 to £1,222.00

Band 3
50%

£282.01 to £342.00

£1,222.01 to £1,482.00

Band 4
25%

£342.01 to £396.00

£1,482.01 to 1,716.00

Council Tax Reduction Level Family/ Single person with more than one child
(Weekly income)
Family/ Single person with more than one child
(Monthly Income)
Passported 85%*

Relevant benefits

Band 1 
85%

£0.00 to £355.00

£0.00 to £1,538.00

Band 2
80%

£355.01 to £385.00

£1,538.01 to £1,668.00

Band 3
50%

£385.01 to £435.00

£1,668.01 to £1,885.00

Band 4
25%

£435.01 to £480.00

£1,885.01 to £2,080.00

Apply for Council Tax Reduction

Passported 85%* refers to those in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) and/or Employment Support Allowance (Income Related).

Once you have completed the 3 steps above, if you are still unable to afford your Council Tax instalments, you could have an issue with budgeting.

Like your rent or mortgage, child maintenance and utilities such as gas and electricity, Council Tax is a priority bill. This means your Council Tax should take priority over other expenditure like mobile phones, subscription television services, broadband and eating out. A budget planner can be found at Money Advice Service Budget planner.

If you believe you are not going to be able to make a payment you should contact us straight away. You can contact us using our online form.

Please quote your Council Tax account number in your email.

We can help by

  • discussing what you can afford to pay
  • making sure you are getting any reductions you may be due
  • picking a way to pay that is best for you
  • picking a payment date that is best for you
  • putting you in touch with free and experienced debt advisors if you need more help

We work in partnership with free independent debt advice agencies. These organisations can provide you with practical help and advice on how you can maximise your income and deal with your debts, and give help with budgeting. If you would like to be referred to an agency, you need to contact us first.


Where else can I get help?

We want to make sure that we can help our customers if they have money worries. You can get clear, impartial help from the Government sponsored MoneyHelper, that is free of charge, as well as confidential and independent.

They can direct you to a debt advisor straight away - call them on 0800 138 7777 or go to their website.

Other sources of advice or information include:

  • Contact the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 for free confidential advice.
  • Visit the National Debtline for financial advice.
  • Your local Citizen's Advice can help visit Citizens Advice.
  • Locally, you can contact Homemaker South West for advice and support.

A handy budget planner is available at The Money Advice Service.