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'time to pay' for council tax arrears

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1 - how to do

2 - download form

3 - legal rules

4 - more help?

Before you complete a time to pay application you should carefully work out your average income and expenditure, and work out a reasonable and realistic offer to repay arrears - remember you will also have to meet ongoing payments of council tax too. 

You can use our simple online calculator here, use a more comprehensive income & expenditure calculation here (opens as a Word document; used by HM Revenue) or read more detailed guidance and information here.

It is usually best to calculate your finances and make an offer on a monthly basis - the reason being that if you miss two payments then the protection of time to pay flies off on the third missed payment.  You can only get a time to pay application granted once.  So monthly offers mean you get a bit more time to bring payments up to date etc.,

Your priority debts such as mortgage or rent will be fixed and you will have little or no control over such priority debts; however for discretionary expenditure such as money spent on food, clothes, telephone calls etc., you should be aware you will need a very good explanation/justification if you expenditure goes above the accepted industry 'trigger figures'. 

Trigger figures are used by many creditors - including HM Customs & Revenue and the financial sector generally - and are based on average UK expenditure derived from annual UK statistics (the Family Expenditure Survey).  You can check the standard trigger figures here (for 2007/08 - remember they are up-rated annually).

When you complete the time to pay application you must return it to the sheriff clerk.  He or she will intimate it on the council.  Speak to the council beforehand to see if they will accept your offer - if they don't the application will call before a sheriff.  It is up to the sheriff to decide what is a reasonable repayment plan having regard to your income, expenditure and personal circumstances. 

If the time to pay is disputed by the council you will need to appear in court to argue why it is reasonable.  You may be able to get a free money advisor to help you do this (see opposite on 'more help?).

<< Navigate the links to find out how to apply for 'time to pay'. 



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