Local authorities across England are cracking down on people who do not pay their council tax, as the national council tax debt rises to more than £2.5bn, according to research out today.
A new report from the accountancy firm Moore Stephens found that 32 per cent of local authorities in Great Britain used bankruptcy orders to recover owed council tax payments in the last year. The number marked a significant increase over five years ago, when just 20 per cent of local authorities took such drastic action.
Moore Stephens researchers said that an even higher proportion of local councils in England and Wales were going after council tax arrears by using the less-severe option of so-called “charging orders,” a practice by which local authorities collect owed payments by forcing property owners to sell or remortgage.
The accountancy firm found 48 per cent of local authorities had used charging orders last year, compared to 26 per cent of councils in 2009-10.