Council Tax: attachments
What they are and how they work
There are two types of attachment that can be requested:
- Attachment of benefits
- Attachment of earnings
Attachment of benefits
After a Liability Order is granted in favour of the council by the Magistrate, the council can instruct the Department for Social Security/Department for Works and Pensions to make deductions from the following benefits:
- Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit (PCGC)
The attachment of benefit can only happen if the person whose name appears on the Council Tax bill is in receipt of one of the above benefits.
The Department for Work and Pensions will pay the deduction over to the council on a monthly basis until the debt is cleared.
Attachment of earnings
Why have I received an attachment of earnings order?
The council has issued an attachment of earnings order because you have not paid your council tax by the date shown on your bill and the Magistrates Court have granted a Liability Order against you.
This allows the council to issue an attachment of earnings order which we has been done because an arrangement for payment has not been made, or maintained as agreed.
What is an attachment of earnings order?
It is a legal document that is sent to your employer which requires them to take money from your wage to pay your outstanding council tax bill. Your employer can also take an extra £1 for each deduction for their administration costs.
We can send a maximum of 2 orders at any one time and you will be issued with a copy of each order.
When will deductions start?
We ask your employer to start making deductions as soon as possible. You will need to ask them when this will be if you are unsure.
How much will be taken from my wage?
The amount deducted is calculated based on a percentage of your net pay as detailed in the tables below.
|Net weekly earnings||Weekly deductions||Deduction rate|
|Not exceeding £75||Nil||0%|
|Exceeding £75 but not exceeding £135||£2.25 to £4.05||3%|
|Exceeding £135 but not exceeding £185||£6.75 to £9.25||5%|
|Exceeding £185 but not exceeding £225||£12.95 to £15.75||7%|
|Exceeding £225 but not exceeding £355||£27 to £42.60||12%|
|Exceeding £355 but not exceeding £505||£60.35 to £85.85||17%|
|Exceeding £505||Minimum £85.85||17% in respect of the first £505 and 50% of the remainder|
|Net monthly earnings||Monthly deductions||Deduction rate|
|Not exceeding £300||Nil||0%|
|Exceeding £300 but not exceeding £550||£9 to £16.50||3%|
|Exceeding £550 but not exceeding £740||£27.50 to £37||5%|
|Exceeding £740 but not exceeding £900||£51.80 to £63||7%|
|Exceeding £900 but not exceeding £1,420||£108 to £170.40||12%|
|Exceeding £1,420 but not exceeding £2,020||£241.40 to £343.40||17%|
|Exceeding £2,020||Minimum £343.40||17% in respect of the first £2,020 and 50% in respect of the remainder|
You can calculate the amount of deductions that your employer will make below.
Will any overtime I work be included?
Yes. The deduction is worked out using your net earning. If you work extra hours and your pay increases, the amount deducted will also increase.
Will deductions be made if I am on sick pay?
Yes. The deduction is worked out using your net wage. If your earnings reduce the amount deducted will also reduce. If you know that your earnings are too low to make deductions you must contact us as detailed below immediately. If you do not contact us we will recover the money in another way.
How will I know how much is left to pay?
Your employer will keep a record of how much is left to clear your bill and should stop making deductions once the amount is paid in full.
Your wage slip should also tell you how much has been taken for the attachment of earnings order. Remember that your employer can take an extra £1 for each deduction for their administration costs.
We recommend that you keep wage slips as your record of the amount paid. If you need more information about the balance left to pay, please speak to your employer.
Can I tell my employer not to make deductions?
No. An attachment of earnings order is a legal document. Your employer must make deductions or they could be prosecuted.
Can I make an alternative arrangement to pay so that my employer does not have to make deductions?
No. Once an order has been sent it will not be stopped unless you pay the outstanding amount in full or the deductions we receive are insufficient. We will not arrange alternative payment with you at this stage.
If you pay the amount in full you must contact us so that we can arrange for the order to be stopped.
What if I change jobs or stop work?
If you change jobs, you must tell us of your new employment details.
If you are no longer working, you must contact us to discuss your situation. You may be entitled to some benefit to help you pay your bill. You will also be able to discuss payment of the outstanding amount and stop any further recovery action.
What if I do not agree that I owe the money?
If you think the amount on the order is wrong, or that the order should not have been sent, you should contact the council immediately.
How much is deducted if I have more than one attachment?
Deductions can be made for up to two orders at the same time. When calculating the amount of the second deduction, the employee’s net pay must be reduced by the amount paid out in the first deduction. The net pay then left is used to calculate the second deduction according to the table below. Examples are given as follows:
Mr A earns £99 per week and has two orders. The first deduction is £2.97 (3%). The second is a further £2.88 (3% of £96.03 remaining).
If Mr A earns £230 per week and has two orders the first deduction is £27.60 (12%). The second is a further £14.17 (7% of the net remaining wage of £202.40).
I am an employer who has received an order for an employee: can I get further advice?
The Department for Work and Pensions has produced a guide that covers all of the points that an employer may raise regarding any Attachment Order.
If you still need further help please contact email@example.com.
Can my employer make deductions from redundancy payments?
Can my employer deduct payments from statutory maternity pay?
No, but your employer can make deductions from contractual maternity pay.