Contradiction taxes Marc’s patience

Marc Duffy with his bills
Marc Duffy with his bills
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SHEFFIELD Council can’t make up its mind whether Marc Duffy owes £1,000 in council tax - or is due £200 for over-paying.

Its letter writing department has sent out alternating demands and offers over the last six months.

It hit a high point last week when Marc returned from holiday to find eight envelopes, all containing either a demand or an offer.

But it was after he spent up to two hours on hold without managing to get through that he contacted Action Desk.

Marc, aged 22, said: “It’s not a small amount.

“A demand for £1,000 sends you into a bit of a panic in the beginning.

“The first time it was one line at the bottom of a letter confirming my council tax direct debit saying, ‘in respect of other areas you owe £1,000’.”

The spares engineer, who moved to Harborough Avenue, Manor, six months ago claims to never have been in council tax debt.

Action

Coun Bryan Lodge, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “Unfortunately when Mr Duffy contacted us to change his address, this triggered an error which cancelled his student exemption and generated backdated bills for the time the exemption was in place.

“This has now been corrected and a senior council tax officer has phoned him to apologise for any upset and inconvenience this matter has caused.

“A letter of apology and a full, correct, statement of account is being sent to him, and we’ve taken the opportunity to review our procedures to minimise the risk of similar problems happening in the future.

“We are sorry if Mr Duffy was unable to speak to an officer when he called on Friday.

“We recognise the need to deal with calls promptly and we are always looking at ways to minimise waiting times for customers.”