£43,000 in unpaid tax will not be collected

MORE than £43,000 of unpaid council tax and business rates has been “written off” in only three months, it has emerged.

New data has been published by Worcester City Council based on collection performance between July and September this year.

About £12,000 of it came from the collapse of two business rate accounts from unnamed companies, one of which went bust while the other vanished without trace – known as “absconding”.

The write-off means all the relevant bodies which benefit from taxes and business rates take a hit on their balance sheets – including the city council, fire and police services, and County Hall.

A report on the move says written records on each write-off are kept on a database and can be reinstated if any new details come to light which enable the debts to be chased.

Reasons for people not paying council tax can vary, but it can include residents moving away, people dying, and those who refuse to pay, who are liable for prosecution.

Councillor Andy Roberts, the city council cabinet member for finance, said: “It’s always worth saying these cases are not forgotten about, and if new information comes to light we will pursue them.

“These are not just Worcester City Council’s debts, but those of the council tax preceptors across the county.”

The revenues and benefits department, a shared service across south Worcestershire, has written off 68 different cases, totalling £31,000 of that money.

The remaining £12,000, which has been written off by the city council, applies to the two firms which went bust or vanished.

In the previous two financial years more than £1 million has been written off – £297,000 in 2011/12 and £760,000 in 2010/11 when bosses decided to lump a list of historic unpaid taxes together.

About 98 per cent of the taxes owed to the council was collected last year, a small improvement on 2010/11.

Overall, £48 million was handed over in council taxes and £37 million in business rates.

Comments (6)

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9:54pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Jabbadad says...

Why aren't business Council tax Bills if not all Council Tax bills required to be on monthly payment schemes so that in the event of a failure to pay the loss to the City / County revenues are less than if on annual payment plans?
Why aren't business Council tax Bills if not all Council Tax bills required to be on monthly payment schemes so that in the event of a failure to pay the loss to the City / County revenues are less than if on annual payment plans? Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

11:53pm Fri 14 Dec 12

marklewisbcfc says...

is this the same council that sent me a council tax reminder last year for £1.70 when all they could have done was add it to the next bill.
is this the same council that sent me a council tax reminder last year for £1.70 when all they could have done was add it to the next bill. marklewisbcfc
  • Score: 0

12:34am Sat 15 Dec 12

grumpy woman says...

98% seems a pretty good collection rate to me.
98% seems a pretty good collection rate to me. grumpy woman
  • Score: 0

8:34am Sat 15 Dec 12

Captain Thrap says...

Not worth worrying about, the council allow business-venture tenements all over St Johns housing students and the landlords don't pay any council tax !! They ought to consider rebanding these properties into the commercial rates classification as they are after all, businesses !!
Not worth worrying about, the council allow business-venture tenements all over St Johns housing students and the landlords don't pay any council tax !! They ought to consider rebanding these properties into the commercial rates classification as they are after all, businesses !! Captain Thrap
  • Score: 0

11:02am Sat 15 Dec 12

gmoore1207 says...

council shirking there responsibilty again and we all have to pay for it they need to get a grip if we ran our household budgets like this we would be in a mess
council shirking there responsibilty again and we all have to pay for it they need to get a grip if we ran our household budgets like this we would be in a mess gmoore1207
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Sat 15 Dec 12

take a deep breath says...

I fully agree that Student houses should be included in those that have to pay council tax;either the students or the landlords. Also the council tax inspectors should be more rigorous when applying council tax exemptions. Too many folks get away with exemptions that they do not qualified for.
I fully agree that Student houses should be included in those that have to pay council tax;either the students or the landlords. Also the council tax inspectors should be more rigorous when applying council tax exemptions. Too many folks get away with exemptions that they do not qualified for. take a deep breath
  • Score: 0

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