Dear Redbridge Borough Council,
The Council makes the statement quoted below from the document link:
"The Council’s software is presently set to allocate non specific payments to the oldest year’s liability."
The council's statement above does not agree with the judgment in the case of R. v Miskin Lower Justices (see below link to the judgment):
The judgment clarifies the position in cases where a creditor has to make a decision as to which account payment should be allocated when a debtor has one account more burdensome for him than another and his payment is unspecified
Clearly the council's statement, if it were to agree with the judgment, would be.....
[[ Where the debtor does not make any reference as to where the payment should be allocated then the creditor must allocate the payment to the account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. ]]
Q. Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law which conflicts with the judgment in R. v Miskin Lower Justices ?
Dear London Borough of Redbridge,
Thank you for your response. I would appreciate the council having another look at this with emphasis on the following:
You have stated that the case law to which I refer (R v Miskin Lower Justices) is superseded by the more recent regulations (SI 1992/613), unless tested again by the courts. This would need to be confirmed by the Council's Monitoring Officer.
Also, I would like it clarifying how the council arrived at a determination that regulation 21 of SI 1992/613 provides for payments which are not made in accordance with Part I of Schedule 1 (those which do not match the calculated instalment amounts) require to be be applied to the oldest debt?
Dear S Staffordson
Thank you for your e-mail.
The details provided previously allow the Council to agree a payment
arrangement and allocate the payments to any year when agreed. Prior to
service of a summons, the Council will follow it's procedure of reviewing
each relevant case. Officers are asked to check allocation of payments
made in the current financial year.
This is to prevent any unnecessary costs being added and ensure that
payments are being allocated to the correct debt, with an emphasis on the
current year's liability. Where there are problems with payment the
council encourages taxpayers to concentrate on current year's payments and
where possible makes arrangements, stemming the cycle of debt.
Dear London Borough of Redbridge,
Most have what you have stated in your 4 November 2019 response seems fair enough as I understand that a billing authority's duty, as a priority, is to maintain a customer's in-year account with payments received in respect of his liability. For example, a customer who made payment in an amount sufficient to prevent his in-year liability falling in arrears would have good cause to bring legal proceedings against the council if it were to allocate his payment to a previous year's charge (thus unnecessarily burdening him further) merely because it did not match the instalment amount. Though I would have thought that the best chance of achieving this would be if the parameters in the Council Tax processing system were set so that any unspecified payments were applied to the current year's charge.
However, I am still unable to see from the explanation where regulation 21 of SI 1992/613 provides for payments which which do not match the calculated instalment amounts are required to be applied to the oldest debt nor how the Miskin case has been superseded by these regulations.
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