Paying on Time

Payment dates and amounts to pay are shown on the Council Tax bill.

Payment can be made in either 10 or 12 instalments; however, if the customer wishes to pay in 12 instalments they must request this so that it can be set up. Where a customer does not request payment over 12 months, their payment plan will be set up over 10 instalments.

The full amount of each instalment must be paid on or before the dates detailed on customers’ bills. Anyone wishing to pay weekly, may do so as long as they pay sufficient to cover the full amount of the instalments by the dates detailed on their bill.

  • Late with an instalment - If the full instalment amount is not paid by the due date detailed on the bill, a combined Reminder/Final notice is issued requesting payment within 7 days.
  • If the full amount of the Reminder/Final Notice is not paid within 7 days – the customer will lose the right to pay by instalments and will be required to pay the full outstanding balance for the year, within a further 14 days.
  • If late with more than two instalments - By law, we are only allowed to send two combined Reminder/Final notices in any financial year. If the customer is late with a third instalment, we have to send them a Final Notice for the full year’s outstanding Council Tax.
  • If a Final Notice is not paid - The Highland Council realises it is very difficult to pay a Final Notice in full. If the full amount of the Final Notice is not paid we have no option in law but to obtain a Summary Warrant from the Sheriff Court to enforce payment. This will cost the customer an additional 10% of the outstanding tax.

Why not pay by Direct Debit - We understand that it is not always easy to remember to pay instalments on time every month. Payment by Direct Debit is the Council’s preferred payment method. At present there are 75,902 customers paying by Direct Debit - it is convenient for our customers and once set up, the arrangement will continue from year to year. If you would like to start paying by Direct Debit, please telephone us on freephone 0800 393811 and we can set your Direct Debit up over the telephone.  Alternatively, visit any Service Point or complete the Direct Debit mandate, which can be downloaded from the link under the Current Documents section of this page and return it without delay to the Operations Team, The Highland Council, PO Box 5650, Inverness, IV3 5YX.

The Council cannot by law take money from a bank account without giving the customer 10 working days notice of the first payment and any subsequent changes to payments. Our customers’ interests are protected by the Banks’ Indemnity Scheme and if an error arises, the customer will receive a full refund. 

Difficulty Paying? - The Council understands that some people have difficulty paying their combined Council Tax and Water Services Charges Bill. Customers, who have other money problems, should call the Council’s free, confidential and customer-friendly Money Advice Service. Alternatively, Money Advice Services are available from the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux or local Advice and Information Services. Contact details are as follows:

Council Money Advice Service
All Areas - 0800 090 1004

Citizens Advice Bureau
Caithness - 01847 894243

Inverness - 01463 237664

Lochaber - 01397 705311

Nairn - 01667 456677

Ross & Cromarty - 01349 883333

Skye & Lochalsh - 01478 612032

East Sutherland - 01408 633000

North West Sutherland - 01971 521730

Badenoch & Strathspey - 01479 810919

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