Stafford Borough Council is set to write-off business rate and tax debts worth more than £77,000. The authority’s cabinet agreed to write off eight cases at a meeting last Thursday.

A cabinet report said that there were five council tax cases totalling £22,037.64 and three business rate cases totalling £55,027.

Councillor Ken Williamson, cabinet member for resources, told the meeting: “One case was a company that went into bankruptcy and there are two cases where can’t trace the payer.”

The cabinet report said: “The normal course of action has been pursued, namely, bills, reminders and final notices issued and, where appropriate, summonses issued, liability orders obtained and passed to bailiffs for collection and trace.”

“Trace procedures have been followed, which include checking with our internal council systems, using the Locating Council Tax Absconders (LOCTA), a Local Authority data sharing system, to check for forwarding addresses at other Local Authorities, visits to the last known address by the council’s property inspector and use of external tracing agents. Despite these best efforts of council tax and business rates staff and/or bailiffs, the debtors cannot be traced and no further action can be taken.”

“The cost of collecting the debts has been considered as part of the decision to put them forward for write off. If further information does come forward about the whereabouts of any of the individual debtors the council will pursue recovery action.”

In 2018 Stafford Borough Council wrote off more than £530,000 worth of business rate and council tax arrears.

Source: Express & Star