Council Tax Nightmare

Options
I've been having a long-standing battle regards council tax for a number of years.  To cut a very long story as short as I can, I had an arrangement with our local Council's debt collectors and paid just under £3000 (most of it cleared the arrears my late husband left me) - or so I thought.

The amounts they were claiming were never the same twice and despite repeated requests to be given a breakdown of where the payments went, I've never got it.  In 2016 I lost my job through no fault of my own.  I thought I'd have no problem getting another job but at 60 my age was against me but I did manage to get a couple of temporary jobs, one lasting 4 months where I carried on making payments.

Last job I had, I got in late December 2019 but the contract ended early, just before the 1st lockdown.  While I was on UC prior to getting that job, I did apply for the rebate and got awarded £20 off the entire bill for the year.  It really wasn't worth claiming for and I'm sure it was wrong.

I will be 65 in December, I am a widow and my son who lives with me is long-term sick, on ESA and is in receipt of PIP.  I myself am on UC and have recently applied for PIP as I had a bad accident last year which has left me unable to walk any distance without the aid of a walking stick and I'm in constant pain and discomfort day and night.

Two months ago I started receiving menacing letters from our Council's latest bailiffs.  This is the third lot they've used.  First they tried to claim £7500, then £4000 (approx), then they wrote saying they were returning my file to the Council with a recommendation that I be imprisoned and/or made bankrupt.  Well, I got a letter from the Council on Monday and they are taking me to Court to have me declared bankrupt unless I come to an arrangement with them.  The amount they are chasing is last year's and this year's Council tax - a grand total of £2200 - a big difference from the various figures their bailiffs/debt collectors gave me.  They haven't given me much time to get any legal representation either - Court case is scheduled for the 12th November, less than 3 weeks from the date of their letter.

They don't seem to know what the true amount is as it keeps varying.  I do have receipts (in triplicate) for every penny I have paid them in the past.

I believe I can apply for a Section 13A but have no idea how to go about this.  Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

Comments

  • Fergie76
    Fergie76 Posts: 2,293 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    If you contact the Council's Council Tax department, they should be able to give you a breakdown of annual CT liability, amount paid to date and amount left to pay.

    If they refuse to give you that information, although, I don't know why they would, just submit a Subject Access Request and then they have to give it to you, but it shouldn't come to that.

    Email the council, so you have a paper trail.
  • Pythonesque
    Options
    Fergie76 said:
    If you contact the Council's Council Tax department, they should be able to give you a breakdown of annual CT liability, amount paid to date and amount left to pay.

    If they refuse to give you that information, although, I don't know why they would, just submit a Subject Access Request and then they have to give it to you, but it shouldn't come to that.

    Email the council, so you have a paper trail.

    Thank you for your reply.  Since I posted this, there has been a change in my circumstances.  It would seem that my UC amount is wrong and I should have been in receipt of the Carers Element as my son is on PIP. I had no idea of this until my new work coach picked it up.  The previous one never mentioned Carers Element at all. The upshot is I have been taken off the intensive work search - which I shouldn't have been on in the first place as they knew my son was on PIP so the Carers Element should be backdated because it is their error (provable by their own records).  If it is backdated, there should be enough to pay off the outstanding CT.  In the meantime I'm going to make an offer of payment (not a great amount) as I'm not sure how long it will take to sort out the UC error or even how far back they will go on it although it should be from the day I made the UC claim.

    This was something I did not expect and I'm still in a bit of shock about it.  One work coach who either didn't know her job or couldn't be bothered giving me the relevant information and another who knows her job and is doing her best to sort it out.  The original work coach left to take up another job about 2 years ago, before the first lockdown.

    I will be seeking legal advice on this incase they try to wriggle out of it.  As for the CT, I will send their form back with a covering letter explaining the circumstances.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Options


    I believe I can apply for a Section 13A but have no idea how to go about this.  Can anyone point me in the right direction please?
    Presumably you mean a s13A(1)(c) discretionary reduction. You need to apply direct to the council.
    https://www.lgfa92.co.uk/section-13a-write-off/

    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.2K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.3K Life & Family
  • 248.4K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards