Updated: Monday, 24th April 2017 @ 8:09am

Two hundred tax dodgers summoned to court EVERY DAY across Manchester – 50,000 last year

Two hundred tax dodgers summoned to court EVERY DAY across Manchester – 50,000 last year

Exclusive by Sam Richardson

Two hundred tax dodgers are summoned to court EVERY DAY across Manchester on average – with a whopping 50,000 summons being issued last year alone.  

And now tax evaders are being warned they will be ‘actively pursued’ by Manchester City Council.

A Freedom of Information request by MM discovered an astonishing 50,000 summons to court were issued for overdue council tax accounts last year – 198 a day.

Figures also revealed that 54,000 and 53,000 summons were issued in the years 2010/11 and 2011/12 respectively.

A Manchester City Council spokesman said: "These figures illustrate how seriously we take the issue because the council tax that is collected pays for essential services for all residents.

“We actively pursue those who try to evade their responsibilities and the vast majority of money which is owed to us is recovered.”

Residents who do not pay council tax on time receive a reminder letter from the council, which gives them seven days to bring their account up to date by paying the overdue instalment.

If this payment is not made, a summons is requested from the Magistrates’ Court.

Once a summons has been issued, the full amount of Council Tax is due, as well as a summons costs of £82.

The spokesmen added: "Manchester is a major city with a significant transient population and council tax collection is always going to be challenging.

"We send out bills to 213,000 properties in the city each year and more than 83,000 people now pay their accounts promptly by direct debit.

“Unfortunately we have to send a summons to a significant proportion of residents before they pay what they owe.”

The council has already issued a staggering 14,841 summons this year.

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Manchester can’t afford for so much Council Tax to be left unpaid, nor the cost of taking so many people to court.

“It’s no wonder some people are struggling to pay their Council Tax though after the last decade of rate hikes.

“Council bosses must distinguish between those who can’t pay and those who refuse to.

“Tough action should be taken to deal with those who refuse, while others who are simply struggling with rising bills should be helped with easier ways to pay."  

Picture courtesy of Images of Money, with thanks.

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