Is It Possible To Get My Council Tax Debt Written Off? 2022
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If you’re struggling with council tax and are wondering, is it possible to get my council tax written off? There are debt solutions that can include writing off council tax debt. These include IVAs, bankruptcy and debt relief orders. However, with an IVA, the creditor (the council) must agree. The council can also write off the council tax debt.
It’s worth knowing that council tax is a priority debt. Councils do have legal powers when it comes to recovering the debt. Read on to learn about when and how council tax debt can be written off. I’ll be sharing details on what to do if you’re struggling with council tax debt. Additionally, I’ll touch on the possible ways to write off your council tax debt.
As always, I recommend contacting a debt advisor when you are having difficulties managing your debts and arrears.
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There are several debt solutions in the UK that can be used to improve your finances. Choosing the right way to tackle your debt could save you time and money, but the wrong one could cause even more harm.
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When Can the Council Write Off Council Tax Debt?
Councils do have the power to write off council tax debt thanks to the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Section 13A (1)(c) of the Local Government Finance Act details discretionary relief. This section can be applied to individuals suffering from severe hardship. It also applies when the individuals are suffering from severe mental health or physical conditions.
Using Section 13 the council can reduce the amount you owe on your council tax arrears. This can include writing off the council tax debt in its entirety. You must be in severe hardship, which means you don’t have enough money left over to pay council tax after your other bills are paid. Your local council will have their own policy relating to Section 13A.
How to Apply to the Council to Write Off Your Council Tax Debt
If you think you qualify, you can apply to your local council to write off your council tax debt through Section 13. To do this you must:
- Write a letter to the council to apply for discretionary relief
- Quote Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 in your letter
- Show evidence that you are unable to pay. I have a free budgeting tool you can use to work out your finances. Fill this in to help you establish what you can and can’t afford. Use this budgeting tool before you contact the council to ensure you are fully aware of your current financial situation.
- I also advise contacting a debt advisor if you have any questions or are unsure of how to work out your budget.
The council must consider all applications for discretionary relief. You can complain if your council dismisses your application. If you feel your application has been dismissed without being evaluated fairly, you can escalate your complaint to a Valuation Tribunal.
Does Council Tax Debt Get Written Off After 6 Years?
A council tax debt can expire after 6 years and become statute-barred. However, the council is not likely to allow it to get to this point. At the six-year point, council tax debt becomes effectively written off, but the debt does still exist. Check out the article I have written that explains statute-barred debts in greater detail.
How Do I Get Council Tax Written Off?
There are a few debt solutions to consider that you can use to write off council tax debt. Please discuss any of the following solutions with a debt advisor before deciding. Each one has pros and cons you must be aware of.
Debt Relief Order
You can apply for a debt relief order. A debt relief order or DRO requires the help of a DRO advisor. The DRO advisor will help you to establish if this debt solution is the right one for you. Additionally, they will help you with your application to the official receiver. The DRO lasts around one year, after this time any debts not cleared are written off. However, the DRO will remain on your credit file for 6 years.
You can write off council tax debt with bankruptcy. This legal process has dire consequences, and you should not take this option lightly. Speak to your debt advisor about how bankruptcy can be used to write off council tax debt. I have some useful information about the pros and cons of bankruptcy that I advise you to read.
You can use an IVA to write off council tax debt. However, the creditors must agree to the IVA. There’s no guarantee that your local council will agree, which would mean your council tax debt would remain.
Can the Council Send Bailiffs for Council Tax Debt?
Bailiffs can come to your home for council tax debt. If you fail to maintain council tax payments your council can apply for a liability order. A liability order will state how much you owe to the council and include any additional court costs the council have had to pay.
If you fail to pay what you owe the council can take enforcement action to recover the debt. The enforcement action includes:
- Using bailiffs to take your belongings
- Taking deductions directly through your wages or benefits
- Charging orders
Council Tax Debt and Bailiffs
The council can instruct bailiffs to come to your property. The bailiffs aim to take your property and sell it. The money raised from the sale of your belongings will clear the council tax debt and other added charges, such as court costs and bailiff fees.
You’ll have 7 days’ notice before bailiffs will visit your home. They must be certified. Without opening the door, check the ID of the bailiff (ask them to post it through the letterbox) and check the bailiff is certified. You can do this by visiting the Certificated Bailiff Register.
There are solutions to help you with council tax debt. Don’t ignore the debt as it will only get worse. Speak to a debt advisor and read the articles I have shared below.