Skip to main content
Text size

Difficulty paying

If you feel your Council Tax instalments are too high you can spread them over 12 months rather than the usual 10.

Please note that if we have passed 1st April you will only get the remaining months available to pay. 12 months can only be given at the beginning of any financial year.

If you wish to pay your bill over 12 months please use the 12 instalments button below.

Please quote your <Council Tax Account number> in brackets in the subject line of your e-mail, like this <60594851> as this will allow us to deal with this matter more quickly. Please also put your full name and address in the body of the e-mail.  

12 instalments

If you pay your bill by direct debit you can also spread your bill over 12 instalments via your MyStAlbans Account

To sign up for a free MyStAlbans Account please visit the do it online page or use the button below

Do it online

It is important that you pay your Council Tax on the dates given on your demand notice. The easiest way to this is by direct debit. If your Council Tax is due on the 1st of the month, you need to make payment on the 1st, otherwise you may face recovery action, including receiving reminders and eventually a summons for non-payment. 

If you have received a summons for Council Tax arrears, please note you are not required to attend the Court Hearing. A liability hearing is a legal process where we ask the Magistrate Court to confirm that your Council Tax has not been paid as per the demand notice originally issued. It is a bulk application, normally involving several hundred charge payers. It is not a County Court Judgement (CCJ), it will not affect your credit rating and your name or address is not read out in Court. There are very limited defences to a liability order which the magistrates can consider. Please read the summons document carefully for further information. If you want to pay the summons amount in full (including any costs) please pay online at or by ringing 01614 853880. This will prevent the matter proceeding to Court.

If you cannot afford to pay in full, there is an instalment plan detailed in the documentation you have received. As long as you keep to this plan and pay the amounts due on the specified dates, we will obtain the liability order but no further recovery action be taken in respect of this debt unless you default on this arrangement.  

If you or your partner are on a low income you may be able to claim Council Tax Support to reduce the Council Tax you pay. Council Tax Support is based on your financial circumstances. This is not the same as a Council Tax Discount which you may be entitled to if, for example, you live at a property on your own.

How much Council Tax Support you might get depends on your income and savings. You will not normally get Council Tax Support if you or your partner have savings of more than £16,000 (unless you also get Guaranteed Pension Credit or you are only claiming Second Adult Rebate – see below).

You might be able to get help if:

  • You get a state benefit such as Universal Credit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit, or you are disabled and have a low income.

  • You work part-time or full time but are on a low wage or you pay child care costs.

  • There is someone else living in your house who is not your partner and who is on a low income or in receipt of State Benefits. This is called ‘Second Adult Rebate’.

  • Council Tax Support normally only starts from the Monday after you make a claim, so it is important you claim straight away if you think you might be entitled.

To find out whether you might be entitled to help, please use this online Benefit calculator below.

Benefits Calculator

To make a claim for Council Tax Support, please use this online Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction form below

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction form

If you are suffering hardship and have exceptional or unusual circumstances we may be able to reduce the Council Tax you are expected to pay through a Discretionary Discount award, which is sometimes called a Section 13A award.

To apply you must review our discretionary award policy, which lists the sort of things we take into account when considering an award. We would normally ask that you first make an application for Council Tax Support to work out whether you qualify for assistance based on your income before you make an application for Discretionary Discount award. 

Section 13a discretionary policy_tcm15-67068.pdf

Discretionary Award Policy

To apply for a a discretionary discount, please download and complete the application form

Discretionary Discount Application Form

You can email a scanned copy to - Please quote your <Council Tax Account number> in brackets in the subject line of your e-mail, like this <60594851>. 

Or return it to our offices:

Council Tax Department
St Albans City & District Council
Civic Center Offices
St Peters' Street
St Albans


Independent Advice on Benefits, Debt and Budgeting is available from Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice