A very clear message is being brought by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council cabinet members. Pay your tax on time or face the heavy hand of justice. In March 2014 a local man was told he would have to spend 35 days in prison for not paying his council tax.
Before we make out the local council as villains, it is important to note that they are generally willing to work with households to offer assistance. Even in this case the man was given the chance to repay his council tax at a rate of £150 per month. In doing so, he may avoid prison time through a suspended sentence.
Other tax dodgers are also being brought before the courts. The borough is becoming more aggressive in tracking down people who are in arrears. They are focused on individuals or even entire families who are avoiding the payment of their council tax. Since the first prison sentence was announced, five more proceedings were pursued. The actions are significant, since it was early 2001 the last time a prison sentence was handed out for nonpayment of council tax.
The case is not alone. Five fellow residents also face a similar fate. The council is taking an aggressive stance on taxation. Many people want the government to be treat everyone equally. So the borough is also enforcing this since they state it is not fair to everyone else for 2% of residents to evade taxes.
Following the news of the suspended prison sentence, local representatives stated that substantial payments had been received from chronically delinquent taxpayers. So the new process is working. Word of the council’s aggressive stance is definitely being passed along.
Get Help with Council Tax
The purpose of the recent actions is not to punish those who cannot afford to pay their tax to the council. Many people just can’t afford the cost, no matter how much they want to pay it. There is help available in Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to those who are unable to keep up with the payments on their council tax.
You should not worry about being sent to prison because you cannot make a payment on time. The other cases are being brought against those who were previously warned but failed to uphold their agreement with the council.
Support for your Taxes
One of the best ways to get relief on your bill is if you qualify for council tax support. There are many limits and restrictions to this programme. If you are a pensioner or are currently receiving benefit, then you may be able to get help with your annual taxes. Households who find themselves earning very little income may also qualify for aid. Whether you are a tenant or a home owner you may also qualify for assistance.
The support can also be made in the form of a partial or full payment towards your bill. So there are different ways in which the programme will work. This help can be particularly helpful to an individual or family already struggling to pay the most basic of living costs, such as food, rent or utilities.
Call the Local Tax Team
The worst action you can take is to ignore the council warnings. Communication is very important, especially if you are struggling or facing a hardship. It is necessary to contact the local tax team right away if you are concerned that you cannot stay current on your tax liability. Do not wait, as that will limit your options.
You may call 01256 358555 to speak with a member of the local tax team at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. It is recommended that you are open and honest about your situation. Sharing details about a current financial hardship can allow the council to make accommodations for your crisis so that you can avoid any unnecessary legal action.