Changes to council tax rules for so many households across the UK last year has meant that the amount of tax owed in Lincolnshire has risen to £3,733,000 since April 2011. Tougher action from the council has meant that over 4,800 extra summonses have been issued and the amount of council tax collected in the region has increased by £1.8 million. That still leaves a shortfall of £1.7 million, however, with £68.44 million of £70.15 million recouped from what was owed last year.
A council spokeswoman said: “The council is committed to supporting customers who have genuine difficulty with paying their council tax, while taking robust enforcement action against those who simply won’t pay. While usual recovery procedures continue, in line with relevant legislation, we are noticeably sending a larger number of council tax reminder notices and summonses as people struggle through the ongoing recession.”
This highlights the struggles that many families are going through with making council tax payments, often falling into large amounts of debt because of the changes to rules that have meant some households are paying for the first time. This goes some way to explaining the increased amounts of debt that councils are having to recoup, with enforcement agents being called on to visit those poorest homes – often occupied by vulnerable people unable to deal with bailiffs or other debt collection action.
John O’Connell, the spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When there’s a tax gap like this, it’s usually residents who suffer as taxes are often increased to plug the gap.”
For those who do find themselves struggling with council tax debt, there is help at hand. Council Tax Advisors is a free service that aims to offer vital help and advice to those households who have become embroiled with arrears, bailiffs and other pressures of making council tax payments they simply cannot afford. By coming to us, people get a friendly, sympathetic ear and a highly professional service that can help in a number of ways.
From simple advice about how to escape the cycle of debt and anxiety, to setting up practical repayment plans with your council, CTA is the best place to take these troubles if they are to be resolved. The recession has hit many families hard, with the poorest households often suffering the most, and council tax debt has risen as a result. Contact us today to find out how we can help your situation, as we have so many others.