From this week’s debt collection news, Commercial Domestic Investigations have learned that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is calling for views on how to improve the efficiency of council tax collection.

Commercial Domestic Investigations

The CDI team discusses council tax debt recovery.

Their aim is to facilitate improvements in the collection and enforcement process in business rates and council tax. The consultation is aimed at local authorities, other government departments and SME’s.

Trialling the changes

As part of the Better Business Compliance Cabinet programme, Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, HMRC and the Cabinet Office have co-operated in a trial to improve collection and efficiency.

The results of this trial have been considered in the decision making of how to improve the collection procedure. The DCLG has also proposed several improvements to the appeals, avoidance and collection aspects of the business rates system – these are being taken forward separately.

Senior enforcement manager at Brighton & Hover City Council and chairman of the Local Authority Civil Enforcement Forum, Barrie Minney, said “Well, this announcement on October 8 certainly caught most of us out. We had no inkling DCLG was about to issue the consultation.”

Trevor Pinnegar, project manager at Nottingham City Council, also commented: “Obviously we need as many councils to send a positive response to this. I suggest we also use it to raise the issue of having access to DWP records to trace absconders.

“All this needs is a change to admin and enforcement regulations in line with Para 15, schedule 2. Local Government Finance Act (LGFA) 1992. I put together a paper some time ago that never progressed on this subject. Central government actually trying to help us – never thought I’d see the day!”

Minney also suggested two ideas: “1. Make landlords liable. In Brighton & Hove we have a large number of students and an even greater number of short term lets. I wrote to my MP years ago suggesting that a simple way to improve council tax collection was to make landlords liable.

“Too many absentee landlords get an income but put nothing back into the local economy. Central government’s response was to say that residents pay council tax in the interests of democracy.

“2. My personal favourite; liability orders should be registered as a County Court Judgment (CCJ). It’s the biggest question we get – ‘will this affect my credit rating?”

If you think your business could benefit from our services please contact Commercial Domestic Investigations for an impartial and friendly chat about your needs.

About Commercial Domestic Investigations

Commercial Domestic Investigations are regarded within the debt collection and credit control industry as one of the best credit management companies in the UK. Established in 1988 to support and service all sizes of companies in the field of Credit Management.

Primarily our clients use our automated Debt Collection Services, but over the last eighteen years clients requirements have changed dramatically, something Commercial Domestic Investigations has addressed.

We now boast a national client base in excess of 30,000 companies. Commercial Domestic Investigations has grown by listening to clients’ requirements and adapting our services to meet all companies’ needs from Sole Traders, SMES, Ltd and PLCs. Please contact us on 08444 159200 for more information.