A reverend who won a case against the council over charges for not paying council tax is taking them to court again.

Reverend Paul Nicolson has lodged a second High Court claim against Haringey Council over claims the £125 cost of a summons for people who failed to pay their council tax is “too steep”.

He believes 20,000 people have been overcharged every year since 2008.

He also claims Haringey Council overcharged people for court summons to increase their council tax income, and the Magistrates and the auditors did nothing about it for 11 years.

The council tax order issued by the Tottenham Magistrates to Haringey Council - charging £125 costs - was declared unlawful by the High Court on the 6th May 2015 after Rev. Nicolson’s challenge.

The case will be heard on 24 February.

Rev. Nicolson said: “An audit is a public interest activity. I am also asking that anyone unlawfully overcharged should be repaid.

“Residents who paid in full on receipt of the summons were charged for a court hearing that should never have happened for seven years.  

“I am particularly incensed that thousands of residents, who now receive shredded benefit incomes from central government needed for food, fuel and other necessities, have been taxed by local government since April 2013, and then over charged for legal proceedings when, inevitably, they cannot pay the tax. 

“The cumulative impact of council tax enforcement coupled with threats of eviction for rent arrears, and sanctions, on mental and physical health is never considered by the council 

“It is grossly inefficient of Haringey council to be taxing residents who cannot pay; a subject on which the auditor is silent.”

In 2015 the auditors forced Haringey to charge separate costs of £102 for a summons and to reduce the charge for a liability order issued by the Tottenham Magistrates to £110 from £125. The exact details of the report have not been made public.

The law limits the charges for a summons and a liability order to "an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred" by the council. 

A Haringey Council spokesman said: “As we have made clear previously, independent external auditors from Grant Thornton investigated and confirmed that costs claimed by the council were broadly reasonable, seeking only to cover the costs of legal proceedings and avoid them impacting on essential frontline services.

“The auditors agreed that Haringey’s approach was and is legal and in line with other London boroughs and found no grounds to grant Rev Nicholson’s requests for his concerns to be taken further.

“We accept the previous findings of the court and the auditors and await the outcome of Rev Nicholson’s latest court challenge.”