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Collaborative Council Tax Collection Guide

On 7 June 2022, the Improvement Service will be publishing a document called Collaborative Council Tax Collection which is a guide aimed mainly at local authorities but also advice providers, such as the CAB network, on working collaboratively to improve how council tax and council tax debt is collected. The reason for developing the guide was the acknowledgement that too many people get into council tax payment difficulties, arrears and debt and to outline ways in which the key players - councils and advice providers – could work together to improve the outcomes for those with trouble paying council tax. 

The Guide was developed by a partnership of the Improvement Service, StepChange, Citizens Advice Scotland, CARF, and IRRV, and was due to launch in the week that the COVID lockdown started in 2020 so it has been on hold until now. It was funded by StepChange and produced by Improvement Service.

Although it is not mandatory that councils follow this Guide, it nonetheless provides a solid basis by which CABs can engage and build relationships with local authorities on council tax matters and contains some good suggestions for ways that councils can do better in its collection of council tax bills, arrears and debt. The Guide will be sent to relevant local authority officials as well to other related stakeholders.

The Guide should be seen as a useful aide during local engagement with local authorities by the Network on council tax issues e.g. for improving policies, processes and practices and any other related council tax matter. It should help strengthen the communication and interaction with local authorities as it can be held up and referenced that a collaborative approach to solving issues is the agreed best way forward.

You can find the Guide here and there is also a useful summary at the start of the document.