Northumberland County Council > Council tax > Council tax - how to pay

Council tax - how to pay

also known as: Direct debit, Pay.

There are several ways you can pay your council tax – have a look at the options below to see which is most convenient for you.

Paying by Direct Debit

It is possible to set up a Direct Debit so that payments are made automatically each month.

You can set up a Direct Debit or change the details of an existing Direct Debit:

Paying by Direct Debit has many benefits including:

  • the option to pay over 12 instalments instead of 10, reducing your monthly payment amount
  • the option to pay on either the 1, 15 or 28 day of the month; whichever is most convenient for you
  • set this agreement up now, or at any time 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • 10 working days notice of any changes
  • no need to remember to pay
  • efficient, meaning lower collection costs and lower council tax rises

If you choose to pay by Direct Debit you are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

The Direct Debit Guarantee:

  • This Guarantee is offered by all Banks and Building Societies that take part in the Direct Debit Scheme.
  • The efficiency and security of the Scheme is monitored and protected by your own Bank or Building Society.
  • If the amounts to be paid or the payment dates change, Northumberland County Council will notify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed.
  • If an error is made by Northumberland County Council or your Bank or Building Society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid.
  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by writing to your Bank or Building Society.

You will need your:

  • bank or building society name
  • account number and sort code
  • branch address
  • council tax account number

Your cheque book or debit card contains all the bank details that you will need.

Pay your council tax online

Pay your council tax using a debit or credit card online here

You will need your:

  • council tax account number
  • debit/credit card details

Alternatively, you can set up a Direct Debit to pay your council tax - Set up a Direct Debit online here

  • payment can be made now; or at any time 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • secure payment provided by Capita Software Services who are certified by Visa and MasterCard as a (PCI DSS) level 1 payment processor

Pay your council tax over the phone

Payments can be made via our automated service 24 hours per day, seven days a week by calling 0845 600 6400 or click here for local telephone numbers.

  • council tax account number
  • debit/credit card details

Find out how to set up a Direct Debit by phone here

Pay your council tax in person

You can pay with cash or cheque at any:

  • Post Office
  • customer information centre

Your council tax bill as the barcode on the bill is used to process the payment. You can either pay the amount of your monthly instalments or the full amount due. There is no fee for this service.

Please note: Payments can take up to 3 working days to show on your council tax account.

Pay your council tax by post

You can pay your council tax by post by either sending a cheque or postal order.

Cheques and postal orders made payable to ‘Northumberland County Council’ can be sent to:

Council Tax Section,
Northumberland County Council,
Wansbeck Square,
NE63 9XL.

Receipts will only be issued on request.

When paying by post please take into account the time it will take for the payment to reach us and for the cheque to clear.

Find out how to set up a Direct Debit by post here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions we are frequently asked about paying council tax. If you still have a query after reading these, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Can I pay my council tax over 12 months?

The option to pay over 12 months (or the number of whole months remaining in the financial year) for council tax and business rates is now available.

  • For Direct Debit you can opt to pay on the 1, 15 or 28 of the month.
  • For CASH payers we can now offer 12 months (or the number of whole months remaining in the financial year) but only with an instalment date of the 1 of the month. If you wish to opt to pay by 12 instalments please contact us or you can set up an on-line Direct Debit.

What happens if I fail to pay my council tax?

Northumberland County Council uses the council tax it collects to fund essential services across Northumberland.

We will take action to recover money owed where people do not pay their council tax on time.

If payment is not made after a reminder notice has been issued the council can apply to the magistrates court for the issue of a summons.

If payment is still not made, the court can issue a liability order, which allows the council to enforce payment by either:

  • deducting money from your earnings
  • deducting money from Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance
  • asking an enforcement agent to collect the money or remove goods to the value of the debt
  • issuing a petition for bankruptcy

What should I do if I’m having difficulty paying my council tax?

If you are having difficulty meeting your council tax payments please contact us immediately.

Do not wait for recovery action to begin.

You may be entitled to council tax support; even if you are working or have savings.

For further advice and to find out if you are eligible to apply for council tax support you can contact our Benefits Section on 0845 600 6400 or click here for local telephone numbers.

Can I look at my bills online?

It’s possible to receive and view your council tax bills online.

An email will be sent every time a bill is issued on the account.

This will save the authority time and money on printing and postage costs while enabling customers to receive the bill as soon as it is available.

For further information relating to online billing click here

I’m new to the area, how do I register to pay council tax?

If you are new to the area and need to register to pay for council tax, please go to our change of circumstances page.

How can I contact the council tax team?

If you require any further details regarding any of the information in this section, or need to inform us of any other change of circumstances, please contact us by: