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Council Tax: Arrears

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance is given to local authorities on the recovery of council tax arrears and procedures to be followed by private companies contracted to recover them; and when this guidance will next be reviewed. (244148)

Communities and Local Government's predecessor department the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister jointly published, with the Government Operational Research Service a Council Tax Collection Good Practice Report in 2004. The report looks at ways of sharing good practice among practitioners, in order to promote continuous improvement in service delivery and collection.

The report can be accessed via Communities and Local Government website at

http://www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/ctax/goodprac.pdf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local authorities may use county courts to recover council tax arrears. (244150)

No. Under Schedule 4 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 recovery of council tax arrears must be through a magistrates court. However, we are looking at reforms to allow billing authorities to transfer council tax debts from magistrates courts to county courts in certain circumstances.