Local councils collect millions more in tax thanks to digital transformation

tax

A digital transformation programme for Vale of the White Horse District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council has helped local authorities collect millions more in council tax.

The two councils partnered with Capita to offer improved revenue collections via new digital initiatives.

A drive was conducted for promoting direct debit payments for council tax, electronic billing and a new online portal has been created to manage bills.

Over 80% of residents now use direct debit payments, helping the councils save money, streamline their back-office functions and allow staff to concentrate on more complex issues. The electronic billing system is now being used by over 22,000 people.

Capita said the digital programmes have contributed towards increased collection, alongside year on year increases in collectable debit.

Vale of White Horse collected £7.4m more in council tax in 2016 compared with 2014, while South Oxfordshire collected £6.8m extra in the same period.

Vale of White Horse District Council leader Matthew Barber said: “With increasing numbers paying by direct debit, and the growing popularity of online billing, we are seeing fewer people fall into arrears on their council tax payments which is really good news.

“By ensuring people pay their bills on time it protects the public purse and means more money is available to support our vital services.”

South Oxfordshire District Council deputy leader Jane Murphy said: “We want to do all we can to help our residents stay on top of their council tax payments, and offering them more ways to manage and pay their bills online is having a clear impact.”

The digital transformation of revenues collection is part of Capita’s Five Council’s Partnership with Vale of White Horse, South Oxfordshire, Hart and Mendip District Councils and Havant Borough Council.

The other three councils are scheduled to launch their digital transformation programmes later this year.