Council Tax and business rates recovery procedure policy

Enforcement Agent

Following the granting of a Liability Order, where a taxpayer or ratepayer fails to make contact with the council or fails to make or maintain a payment arrangement (including orders under attachments to earnings or deductions from benefit) the council may issue instructions for a Enforcement Agent to collect the debt.

For Council Tax debts there will be an initial 14 day period - called precompliance, where the Enforcement Agent will attempt to engage with the customer via written communication. No fees are incurred at this stage and providing an acceptable arrangement is made with the enforcement agent then no fees are added. If no contact is made with the Enforcement Agent then the debt will move to the compliance stage of the process and fees are incurred. Business rates debts move straight to the compliance stage of the process and fees are incurred immediately.

At the compliance stage the Enforcement Agent will again attempt to engage with the tax or rate payer via written communication before visiting the customer’s home with the aim of taking control of goods and gaining full payment. With the exception of the pre-compliance stage noted above, there are associated fees with each stage of action that the Enforcement Agent takes.

Fees associated are charged in accordance with levels set out in the legislation.

The Enforcement Agent may make an acceptable arrangement with the debtor to repay the sums due or take control of goods owned by the debtor to satisfy the amount outstanding.

Actual removal and sale of goods will only take place in exceptional circumstances following approval from a Senior Recovery Officer. All efforts will be taken in order to make an arrangement to pay.