Apology over 22p tax demand

OFFICIALS have apologised today after the executor of an Ipswich man's will was charged a measly 22 pence in tax.Frederick Knock of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich was impoverished when he died of cancer in December.

OFFICIALS have apologised today after the executor of an Ipswich man's will was charged a measly 22 pence in tax.

Frederick Knock of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich was impoverished when he died of cancer in December.

And although the pensioner had not paid council tax for years, 22p was accrued after his death.

Richard Iddon, the executor of his will, received a council tax bill dated January 11, with "nil" as the balance but 20 days later another bill arrived demanding 22p from previous years.

Mr Iddon was also charged £127 in rent for Mr Knock's council house for the four week period following the 86-year-old's death.

He said: "I'm not impressed with Ipswich at the moment.

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"The 22p bill just grilled me - how do you send 22p?

"It's just so uneconomical to send it out. I think it's farcical that a big organisation can't put a stop on their computer to look at this."

Mr Iddon thought of the pensioner as an uncle as his mother befriended Mr Knock's late wife during the Second World War.

And though Mr Iddon left Ipswich in the 60s and now lives in Colchester he paid regular visits to his Uncle Fred.

When Mr Knock was diagnosed with cancer in September his surrogate nephew even quit his teaching job to lend support.

After his friend's death Mr Iddon spent more than £280 cleaning out his friend's council house.

He handed the keys back to the council at the end of January and shortly after the tax demand arrived.

Ipswich council has now apologised for the blunder and launched an investigation into how the error occurred.

A spokesman said: "We have procedures in place to prevent demands for small sums of money like this, but this one has obviously

slipped through the net."

But 62-year-old Mr Iddon has already sent the 22p in cash and paid the rent demanded when the property was returned to the council.

He has now contacted his MP in the hope he will be reimbursed with the £127 and Ipswich council has promised to return the 22p though Mr Iddon said he does not want the money.

He added: "Obviously Ipswich are desperate to swell their coffers, so I will donate the 22p from Fred's estate.

"I am laughing about this but it could have happened to a pensioner and if it had been Frederick he would have worried about it and would have gone out and paid it immediately.

"His rent was £31 in credit when he died. He was on a low income and had a small gas board pension and state pension.

"To clear a cheque I think would cost about £30 and the gruelling thing is it's public money."

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