Council tax attachment of earnings orders

If you don't pay your council tax, we can apply to a Magistrates' Court for a liability order. If a court grants a liability order, one of the options for recovering the outstanding amount is a Council Tax Attachment of Earnings Order (CTAEO).

A CTAEO is sent to your employer to take money directly from your earnings. A copy of the order will be sent to you and your employer confirming the liability order details and the total debt to be repaid. Payment will be set up on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on how you're paid, until the debt is settled.

Guidance for employers

Any CTAEOs you receive will confirm:

  • the name and payroll number (if known) of the employee that owes council tax
  • the amount that has to be paid
  • a local authority reference

Deductions

Deductions should begin as soon as possible after the order has been received. We must receive the deducted amounts by the 18th day of the month following the month in which the deduction was made.

As well as the deducted amount you can deduct £1 per transaction from your employee's salary towards administrative costs. A statement of the total amount deducted (including the £1 administrative costs) should be given to your employee.

Deductions should be made each pay day until the total amount has been paid.

If the employee has moved on or has never been in your employment, you need to let us know within 14 days and then you no longer need to do anything.

Earnings include:

  • wages or salary (including any fees, bonus, commission, overtime pay or other additions to wages or salary payable under a contract of service)
  • statutory sick pay

Earnings do not include:

  • public departments of the Government of Northern Ireland or of a territory outside the United Kingdom sums
  • armed forces pay and allowances
  • social security benefits or allowances (including maternity pay)
  • disability benefits or allowances
  • wages payable to a person as a seaman, other than as a seaman of a fishing boat
  • youth training allowances

The amount to be deducted depends on the total net earnings received by the employee. See the tables below for the percentage to be deducted according to the amount of net earnings and the frequency of the pay period.

Net earnings Deduction rate (per cent)
Not exceeding £75 0
Exceeding £75 but not exceeding £135 3
Exceeding £135 but not exceeding £185 5
Exceeding £185 but not exceeding £225 7
Exceeding £225 but not exceeding £355 12
Exceeding £355 but not exceeding £505 17
Exceeding £505 17 in respect of the first £505 and 50 in respect of the remainder
Net earnings Deduction rate (per cent)
Not exceeding £300 0
Exceeding £300 but not exceeding £550 3
Exceeding £550 but not exceeding £740 5
Exceeding £740 but not exceeding £900 7
Exceeding £900 but not exceeding £1420 12
Exceeding £1420 but not exceeding £2020 17
Exceeding £2020 17 in respect of the first £2020 and 50 in respect of the remainder
Net earnings Deduction rate (per cent)
Not exceeding £11 0
Exceeding £11 but not exceeding £20 3
Exceeding £20 but not exceeding £27 5
Exceeding £27 but not exceeding £33 7
Exceeding £33 but not exceeding £52 12
Exceeding £52 but not exceeding £72 17
Exceeding £72 17 in respect of the first £72 and 50 in respect of the remainder

Column 1 details pay bands which correspond to net earnings. Column 2 details the percentage of earnings to be deducted. Locate the earnings band in column 1 and then read across to column 2 to find the percentage and then calculate the amount to be deducted.

If the person is paid:

Table A should be use to work out deductions.

 

Table B should be use to work out deductions.

 

Net earnings should be divided by the number of weeks in the pay period.

Table A should then be used to work out the appropriate weekly deduction and the resulting amount multiplied by the number of weeks in the period.

 

Net earnings should be divided by the number of months in the pay period.

Table B should then be used to work out the appropriate monthly deduction and the resulting amount multiplied by the number of months in the period.

 

Net earnings should be divided by the number of days.

Table C should then be used to work out the appropriate daily rate, which should then be multiplied by the number of days in the period.

 

Select the series with the shortest interval between payments and use the tables as described above.

In addition, deduct 20 per cent of the net earnings payable in every other series.

If the person is paid in two or more series and all the intervals are the same length, then select one of these, make deductions as described above, and in addition deduct 20 per cent of the net earnings payable in every other series.

Example

An employee's net pay is £150 weekly and £600 monthly.

A deduction of £7 is made for the weekly pay and £120 for the monthly pay (20 per cent of £600).

 

Net earnings should be divided by the number of days since the last payment and Table C should be used to work out the appropriate daily deductions, which in turn should be multiplied by the number of days in the period.

Example

An employee's net pay

  • (a) £90 (from 1 April to 9 April - nine days)
  • (b) £120 (from 10 April to 19 April - 10 days)
  • (c) £176 (from 20 April to 30 April - 11 days)

The deductions to be made would be:

(a) 90/9 = £10

  • Daily deduction = £10 x 3 per cent (30p)
  • Deduction to be made for period = 9 x 0.30 = 2.70

(b) 120/10 = £12

  • Daily deduction = £12 x 3 per cent (36p)
  • Deduction to be made for period = 10 x 0.36 = £3.60

(c) 176/11 = £16

  • Daily deduction = £16 x 5 per cent (80p)
  • Deduction to be made for period = 11 x 0.80 = £8.80

 

If on the same pay day the person is to be paid regular period earnings and irregular period earnings these amounts should be added together and treated as earnings payable at the regular interval, the appropriate table being used.

Example

An employee receives £250 as normal net weekly pay. In addition £350 is received every 15 days for a different task.

The deductions to be made would be for weekly earnings (Table A) of £250 = £350 = £600.

The deduction rate for £600 is 17 per cent of the first £370 plus 50 per cent of the remainder (£62.90 = £115 = £177.90).

Multiple orders

If an order is already in place, the new CTAEO is still applied (in date sequence) with the later order being applied to the remaining earnings. If there are two or more orders in place, then no further CTAEOs can be added.

See the document below for full details on how to deal with multiple orders:

Download Priorities between attachment of earnings orders [PDF, 20KB]

Regulations that apply: