Council Tax payments should reach us on the day that the instalment is due at the latest. This is normally the 1st of the month.

Paying on time is crucial because late payments can affect our ability to fund services and pay Oxfordshire County Council and the Police their share.

What happens if you miss a payment?

If you miss a payment, you'll get a reminder. You must catch up within seven days. If you don't, the full year's Council Tax becomes due immediately. If you're late twice in a year, you'll get a Final Reminder and the full amount will be due at once.

If you struggle to pay after receiving a reminder or final reminder, contact us. We might help spread your payments, especially if you pay by Direct Debit.

Court summons for unpaid Council Tax

If you don't pay after a reminder, we'll take legal action. You'll receive a court summons, detailing your debt and the hearing date. You'll also be charged for the summons.

If you can't pay in full, contact us. We can discuss a payment plan even though the summons won't be withdrawn.

Attending court

You can attend court on the summons date to speak with the Magistrates. We'll be there too to discuss your debt. You're not required to enter the court unless you want to.

In court, we'll request a Liability Order to recover your debt, which can be issued even if you're not there. This order incurs additional costs.

What is a Liability Order?

A Liability Order gives us legal power to recover your debt. Here's what can happen:

  • we may request your employment and income details. It's a crime not to provide this information or to provide false information
  • we can ask your employer to deduct money from your wages. Your employer can charge you £1 per deduction
  • we can make deductions from your benefits like Income Support or Jobseekers' Allowance
  • we might employ enforcement officers to collect the debt or take goods equal to your debt value
  • we can start bankruptcy proceedings against you
  • we can put a legal charge on your property, which must be paid when the property is sold
  • in some cases, you could be sent to prison for not paying your Council Tax

Learn more about debt recovery

For full details on how we collect Council Tax and the consequences of non-payment, please see our Debt Recovery Procedure.

Download the Council Tax debt recovery procedure.

Contact the Council Tax Team

Please include your council tax account reference number when contacting us by letter or email. If you do not have an account reference number, please include your full address

Address: Oxford City Council
PO Box 10
Oxford
OX1 1EN

Telephone: 01865 249811