Why you need to pay Council Tax


  1. Overview
  2. Paying Council Tax is a legal requirement
  3. Our responsibility to charge and recover Council Tax


Council Tax pays for the services in your area. Without this, we would not provide essential services or help those in need.

Where your Council Tax goes

You will normally pay Council Tax if you are over 18 and own or rent a property.

This is the law.

Paying Council Tax is a legal requirement

Around the country, each council is responsible for collecting Council Tax from households in their area.

Unless you are exempt, Council Tax needs to be paid.

It is a legal requirement to pay it.

The legislation that covers Council Tax can be viewed at www.legislation.gov.uk, and includes the:

Our responsibility to charge and recover Council Tax

The Council has a responsibility to charge and recover Council Tax in South Tyneside.

Please remember:

You cannot legally opt out of paying

Misleading stories on the internet suggest that people are only bound by the contracts and laws they have consented to. This is not true - you cannot choose which laws to obey and which to ignore.

There is no contract involved

Some rumours suggest that to be liable for Council Tax there needs to be a signed legal contract agreeing to this. This is incorrect.

Liability for Council Tax is determined by the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This sets out a council's rights to demand Council Tax to fund services and who is liable to pay.

Any reference to the Companies Act, Contracts Act, Bills of Exchange Act or other acts regarding companies or contracts is irrelevant.

Sending out the bill creates the debt

As soon as a Council Tax Demand Notice (the bill) is sent, the debt is created. There is no need for a signature or agreement from the resident.

If you do not pay, we will take action to recover the debt

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, please get in touch as we may be able to help you. 

We can also investigate if you think you're paying the wrong amount

If you do not pay your Council Tax, we will take steps to recover this from you. This could result in a court summons.

We do not need your consent to collect unpaid Council Tax charges. For more information see recovering unpaid Council Tax.

If you feel you still have questions regarding the legalities of charging Council Tax, please seek proper legal advice rather than relying on internet sources or forum statements which can be incorrect or misleading.