Court and Tribunal Fees - do I have to pay them?
The County Court fee remission system is available to those who would have difficulty paying and meet the appropriate criteria. EX160A How to apply for help with fees.
Litigants in Person should check to see if they have to pay any court fees at all, and if they do, how much.
The fee remission system is based on two different tests, the Disposable Capital Test followed by the Gross Monthly Income Test.
The Disposable Capital Test
A party satisfies the disposable capital test if–
- the fee for which an application for remission is made, falls within a fee band set out in column 1 of the "Disposable Capital Threshold Table" below; and
- the party’s disposable capital is less than the amount in the corresponding row of column 2
Disposable Capital Threshold Table
Court / Tribunal Fee
|Up to and including £ 1,000
|£ 1,001 to £ 1,335
|£ 1,336 to £ 1,665
|£ 1,666 to £ 2,000
|£ 2,001 to £ 2,330
|£ 2,331 to £ 4,000
|£ 4,001 to £ 5,000
|£ 5,001 to £ 6,000
|£ 6,001 to £ 7,000
|£ 7,001 or more
"Disposable capital" is the value of every resource of a capital nature belonging to the party on the date on which the application for remission is made, unless it is treated as income or it is disregarded as excluded disposable capital (see (f) below).
- if a party or their partner is aged 61 or over, they satisfy the disposable capital test if their disposable capital is less than £16,000, whatever the fee band;
- the value of a resource of a capital nature that does not consist of money is calculated as the amount which it would realise if sold, less 10% of the sale value and the amount of any borrowing secured against it that would be repayable on sale;
- capital resources in a country outside the UK count towards disposable capital. If there is no prohibition in that country against the transfer of a resource into the UK, the value of that resource is the amount which it would realise if sold in that country (calculated as in (b) above). If there is a prohibition against the transfer of a resource into the UK, its value is the amount it would realise if sold to a buyer in the UK;
- where disposable capital is held in currency other than sterling, the cost of any banking charge or commission that would be payable if that amount were converted into sterling, is deducted from its value;
- where any resource of a capital nature is owned jointly or in common, there is a presumption that it is owned in equal shares, unless evidence to the contrary is produced;
- the following are excluded disposable capital–
- a property which is the main or only dwelling occupied by the party;
- the household furniture and effects of the main or only dwelling occupied by the party;
- articles of personal clothing;
- any vehicle, the sale of which would leave the party, or their partner, without motor transport;
- tools and implements of trade, including vehicles used for business purposes;
- the capital value of the party’s or their partner’s business, where the party or their partner is self-employed;
- the capital value of any funds or other assets held in trust, where the party or their partner is a beneficiary without entitlement to advances of any trust capital;
- a jobseeker’s back to work bonus;
- a payment made as a result of a determination of unfair dismissal by a court or tribunal, or by way of settlement of a claim for unfair dismissal;
- any compensation paid as a result of a determination of medical negligence or in respect of any personal injury by a court, or by way of settlement of a claim for medical negligence or personal injury;
- the capital held in any personal or occupational pension scheme;
- any cash value payable on surrender of a contract of insurance;
- any capital payment made out of the Independent Living Funds;
- any bereavement payment;
- any capital insurance or endowment lump sum payments that have been paid as a result of illness, disability or death;
- any student loan or student grant;
- any payments under the criminal injuries compensation scheme;
Gross Monthly Income Test
If you have passed the "Disposable Capital Test" you may be entitled to a full or part remission.
If you are in receipt of any of the following benefits you may be entitled to a full remission:
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Universal Credit with gross annual earnings of less than £ 6,000
- State Pension Credit guarantee credit
- Scottish Civil Legal Aid (not Advice and Assistance or Advice by Way of Representation)
Income Threshold Table
If your gross montly income is between between the minimum income threshold and the maximum income cap, you may be eligable for a partial remission.
Miniumum Income Threshold
Maximum Income Cap
In addition for each child add £ 245 and if you are part of a couple £ 160.
For every £ 10 of income you have over the threshold you will be required to pay £ 5 towards your fee.
Gross monthly income is defined as your, and (if applicable) your partners total income from any and all sources for the month, before any deductions such as tax, have been made.
Excluded benefits (which are not counted as income)
- (a) any of the following benefits–
- attendance allowance;
- severe disablement allowance;
- carer's allowance;
- disability living allowance;
- constant attendance allowance as an increase to a disablement pension;
- any payment made out of the social fund;
- housing benefit;
- widowed parents allowance;
- under the Tax Credits Act 2002–
- any disabled child element or severely disabled child element of the child tax credit;
- any childcare element of the working tax credit;
- any direct payment made under the Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (England) Regulations 2009, the Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2011, or s.12B(1) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968;
- a back to work bonus payable under the Jobseekers Act 1995;
- any exceptionally severe disablement allowance paid under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983;
- any payments from the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit;
- any pension paid under the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pension Order 2006;
- any payment made from the Independent Living Funds;
- any payment made from the Bereavement Allowance;
- any financial support paid under an agreement for the care of a foster child;
- any housing credit element of pension credit;
- any armed forces independence payment;
- any personal independence payment payable under the Welfare Reform Act 2012;
- any payment on account of benefit as defined in the Social Security (Payments on Account of Benefit) Regulations 2013;
- any of the following amounts that make up an award of universal credit–
- an additional amount to the child element in respect of a disabled child;
- a housing costs element;
- a childcare costs element;
- a carer element;
- a limited capability for work or limited capacity for work and work -related activity element.
Appealing a remission refusal due to exceptional changes to circumstances
Write to The Delivery Manager at the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) or the the County Court allocated your defended claim if:
- paying the fee would mean non-payment of a utility bill that could mean you would be cut off
- paying the fee would mean you being unable to pay your mortgage or rent
- you are a carer for a dependent adult and that care can only be paid for from your own money
- there has been an unexpected, sudden personal financial loss or expense due to the death of a close family member or dependent relative
- you cannot pay due to uninsured loss or damage to personal belongings as a result of fire, flood, theft or criminal damage
Obtaining evidence to support your application
Remember, you must tell the Court if you want original documents to be returned to you:
Department for Work and Pensions www.dwp.gov.uk
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs www.hmrc.gov.uk or the Tax Credit Helpline 0845 300 3900
Jobcentre Plus www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus or 0845 606 0234
The Pension Service www.gov.uk/contact-pension-service or 0845 606 0265
Fee Remission Calculator
The MoneyClaimsUK fee remission calculator promotes the County Court's objective that access to justice is available to all.
Use our Fee Remission Calculator to see if you are entitled to a fee remission and how much your contribution would be towards your fee.