COUNCIL TAX an irresponsible tax irresponsibly enforced against shredded benefit incomes while the Chartered Accountants of UK devise ways to let the wealthy off tax free. 

9 June 2018

A NATIONAL SCAM 

Houdini could not invent more ways of escaping tax than the Chartered Accountants of the UK. Fred Harrison describes the national scam
 

In 2016-17 local authorities collected a total of £26.6 billion in council tax, irrespective of the year to which it related. This was an increase of £1.3 billion, or 5.1%, over 2015-16. By the end of March 2017, they had collected £26.0 billion of council tax that related to 2016-17 and achieved an average in-year collection rate of 97.2%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over 2015-16. During 2016-17, local authorities collected £627million in council tax arrears and wrote off £172 million of uncollectable council tax.  ONS All that while trillions are parked overseas in taxhavens. 

BENEFITS HOPELESSLY INADEQUATE, FROZEN AND TAXED. 

Since the Local Government Finance Act 2012 council tax has levied and enforced against unemployment benefits in 264 out of 326 councils in England and Wales.  The single adult unemployment benefit is £73.10pw; it is hopelessly inadequate - it equals £317pm Universal Credit. It has been losing value since 1979.  It is the cornerstone of the benefit system, to which the benefits of disabled people and children are added.  It ought never to have been taxed. There are nearly four million people in the UK receiving those benefits. (see ONS BEN01). They are taxed by councils by reducing the 100% council tax benefit by between 8.5% and 30%. The arrears pile up during a three month benefit sanction and are enforced during and after the three months with, rent and other debts.  

COMPUTERS ENFORCE COUNCIL TAX REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEBTOR

Council tax is a civil debt enforced by computer through the magistrates courts.    

  1. A reminder letter 
  2. A summons saying there is no need to go to court but threatening the enforcement actions shown below. . 
  3. A Magistrates court hearing to which very few turn up. 
  4. The Magistrates sign a printout with up to 3000 names on it of those summoned (see attachment). That grants the council the liability order in their in the absence of the debtor and adds up to £130 costs to the arrears. - Haringey dispatched 32,237 summons in 2013/14. 
  5. A liability order empowers the council to; 
  • ask employer to take regular deductions from salary
  • take money directly from Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • ask Enforcement Agents to visit homes and either collect the amount owed, or if this is not possible, remove items belonging and sell them
  • putting a charging order on a property of the debtor, which means we could force its sale to pay Council Tax arrears, or the arrears will be paid out of the amount of any future sale
  • applying to make the debtor bankrupt
  • apply to the magistrates court for committal to prison.

COURT COSTS AND BAILIFFS FEES EXTORTIONATE 

About 3.5 million liability orders are granted to councils each year by the magistrates in England and Wales.  The liability order allows councils to do any of these, but only one at a time. The most commonly used is the bailiffs who are nearly all private companies on contract to the authority. The council computer instructs them to act while totally ignorant of the circumstances of the debtor in most cases. The bailiffs fees agreed by the MOJ and charged to the debtor are; 

  • Magistries award up to £140 court costs to the council; the bailiffs add....
  • Immediately the council sends them a debtor - £75
  • If they visit the debtor - £235 in added. 
  • If they then visit the debtor to remove items for sale - another £110.

THE BAILIFF IS OFTEN THE FIRST NON-COMPUTER CONTACT WITH THE COUNCIL TAX DEBTOR. 

Council tax is a civil debt so they have no right to break in to peoples homes. If they cannot gain entry to sieze furniture then they are given the mobile number of the debtor by the council. The bailiffs then send a series of intimidating text messages - even at 8pm.
 

We worry for vulnerable benefit claimants, the mentally ill and single mothers with small children.

 This is a sample of 25 text messages sent to one mobile.   

  • 25th September 15.32    ENFORCEMENT AGENT due to attend & take control of GOODS. Call NEWLYN on 07421324529 to STOP 
  • 9th October 2017 16.51    You IGNORED our Removal Notice the REMOVAL UNIT is operating in N17 0AX. Call NEWLYN NOW on 01604633001 to arrange. Ref: 3756142
  • 9th October 2017 19.57    You failed to respond. REMOVAL TRUCK BOOKED as per COURT ORDER to TAKE CONTROL OF GOODS to AVOID ACTION CALL NEWLYN 01604 633001 QUOTING REF: 3756142
  • 11th October.     You failed to respond. REMOVAL TRUCK BOOKED as per COURT ORDER to TAKE CONTROL OF GOODS to AVOID ACTION CALL NEWLYN 01604 633001 QUOTING REF: 3756142
  • 12OCTOBER 20.26    OPERATING IN N17 0AX . FINAL WARNING. NEWLYN ENFORCEMENT AGENT ATTENDING WITHIN 48 HOURS TO REMOVE GOODS. CALL 01604633001 IMMEDIATELY. REF: 3756142
  • 16th October 12.08     REMOVAL TRUCK BOOKED TODAY AT 4PM as per COURT ORDER to TAKE CONTROL OF GOODS, to AVOID ACTION CALL 07813532450 Quoting REF 3756142
  • 16th October 16,27    RETURN HOME NOW! Newlyn removal truck en route to REMOVE YOUR GOODS. Call MR THOMAS NOW on 07813532450 quoting ref 3756142 to avoid this. 3756142
  • 18 OCTOBER 11.59     NEWLYN REMOVAL TEAM ARE DUE TO ATTEND TODAY TO TAKE CONTROL OF GOODS, TO AVOID ACTION CALL 07813532450 QUOTING REF $(ROWID) 3756142
  • 19 October 11.56    REMOVAL TRUCK RE-SCHEDULED TO ATTEND IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS, CALL MR THOMAS 07813532450 TO PREVENT REMOVAL OF GOODS AS PER COURT ORDER QUOTING REF 3756142
  • 19 October 16,27     RETURN HOME NOW! Newlyn removal truck en route to REMOVE YOUR GOODS. Call MR THOMAS NOW on 07813532450 quoting ref 3756142 to avoid this. 3756142
  • 23rd October 20.24     You failed to respond. REMOVAL TRUCK BOOKED as per COURT ORDER to TAKE CONTROL OF GOODS to AVOID ACTION CALL NEWLYN 01604 633001 QUOTING REF: 3756142
  • 25th October 2017     FURTHER CHARGES WILL BE ADDED UNLESS YOU CONTACT US TODAY TO PREVENT REMOVAL OF YOUR GOODS. CONTACT NEWLYN IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THIS ACTION 01604 633001 QUOTING REF: 3756142
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