Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywGwyn Worth mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Ensuring customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship

We're waiting for Gwyn Worth to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,

A council taxpayer who owes more than just the current year's liability runs the risk of incurring additional recovery costs through a further application for a liability order if payments which are intended for the current year's liability are allocated by the council's computer to the previous year's liability. This would most likely happen where a non specific payment is made and the computer software is set to automatically allocate these payments to the oldest year's debt.

Councils computer systems have the necessary flexibility to be set to allow non specific payments to be allocated to the arrears or the current year's liability.

I understand that the majority of billing authorities have their computer software set to ensure that their customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship, i.e. so non specific payments are allocated to the current year's liability.

How does Rhondda Cynon Taff Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Worth

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (or Environmental Information Regulations 2004, if it
relates to environmental information).

You should ordinarily expect to receive a response to your request no
later than 20 working days following the date of submission to the
Council. We will contact you should this not be the case.

Yours sincerely

Corporate Governance Team
for Director of Legal & Democratic Services

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council should normally have responded promptly and by 7 December 2017

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Worth

We sincerely apologise for the delay in response to your Freedom of
Information request.

We are waiting to receive the information from the relevant department. I
will chase this up and will be in touch as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Corporate Governance Team
for Director of Legal & Democratic Services

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Worth

 

We sincerely apologise for the delay in response to your Freedom of
Information Request in respect of ensuring customers are not subject to
unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship.

 

The Authority’s response is as follows:

 

Rhondda Cynon Taf has its Council tax computer system parameters set to
ensure that non-specific payments are allocated to the 'oldest debt'. This
means that the payment is allocated in terms of oldest due date but giving
enforcement amounts a higher priority (in ascending order of ‘due date’).
The Council is of the opinion that this supports the principals of case
law and in particular:

 

Peters v Anderson (1814), which says "a person who is indebted to another
on two several accounts, may, on paying him money, ascribe it to which
account he pleases and his election may either be expressed or may be
inferred from the circumstances of the transaction."

 

Devaynes v Noble (1816) which established a common law rule based upon the
notion of first-in, first-out to determine the effect of payments from an
account, and will normally apply in the absence of evidence of any other
intention. Payments are presumed to be appropriated to debts in the order
in which the debts are incurred

 

Therefore, payments which exactly match an instalment amount or where it
can be inferred that the payment was intended for a particular account or
instalment are allocated accordingly but non-specific payments are
allocated according to how the creditor sees fit, and in this Council that
is the oldest debt.

 

Having said that, should a taxpayer contact the Council after the payment
has been allocated and expresses that they wish the payment to be
allocated to another debt or year, then this will be accommodated.
Similarly, officers of the Council routinely check daily cash listings to
ensure that payments are allocated to current year debt if for example,
older debts are already subject to enforcement action such as bailiffs,
attachment to earnings or benefits.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review of the Council’s response.  If you wish
to exercise this right, please set out in writing your grounds and send
your appeal to Mrs Julie Llewellyn. She may be reached at
[1][email address] or at RCT CBC, Pavilions, Clydach Vale,
Tonypandy, CF40 2XX.

 

Additionally you may, if you wish, find out more about the Freedom of
Information Act & Environmental Information Regulations from the
Information Commissioner at

[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/

 

We trust this answers your queries.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Marc Jones

Swyddog Gwasanaethau Democrataidd / Democratic Services Officer

Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol a Democrataidd / Legal and Democratic Services

 

The Pavilions

Clydach Vale

CF40 2XX

Ffon: 01443 424102 / Tel No: 01443 424102

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Thank you for your response. I consider Rhondda Cynon Taff Council has provided the information I requested. The purpose of this exercise was to ascertain whether or not the principles surrounding the appropriation of payments were being adhered to.

I understand by the council's response (see *NOTE 1*) that there are measures in place to ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which it is least burdensome for the debtor, and consequently the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are being complied with. This effectively means that an unmatched payment allocated to the oldest debt (having the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears) would be reallocated to the current year's liability on account of the circumstances implying that this was the debtor's intention (least burdensome for the debtor).

However, there is an apparent conflict between the case authorities cited on which the council relies for its allocation of unmatched payments (see *NOTE 2*).

*NOTE 1*: "....officers of the Council routinely check daily cash listings to ensure that payments are allocated to current year debt if for example, older debts are already subject to enforcement action such as bailiffs, attachment to earnings or benefits."

*NOTE 2*: The authorities relied on are;

i) Peters v Anderson (1814), which the council interprets to provide unmatched payments to be allocated according to how the council sees fit (although the relevant authority has been omitted), and

ii) Devaynes v Noble (1816), which presumes they are appropriated to debts in the order in which they are incurred.

On first impressions, Devaynes v Noble is rendered surplus to requirements by Peters v Anderson and therefore irrelevant. The council needs no more authority than that which Peters v Anderson provides. This can be appreciated better if the subsequent part of the Peters v Anderson case is cited (see below):

"But if the payer does not pay specifically on one account, the receiver may afterwards appropriate the payment to the discharge of either of the accounts that he pleases."

However, Devaynes v Noble (Clayton's Case) is irrelevant for another reason; it does not apply in cases involving several distinct accounts. The following quoted from the judgment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devaynes_v... confirms that the case involved 'a banking account, where all the sums paid in form one blended fund.....'

"But I think the present case is distinguishable from any of those in which that point has been decided in the creditor's favour. They were all cases of distinct insulated debts, between which a plain line of separation could be drawn. But this is the case of a banking account, where all the sums paid in form one blended fund, the parts of which have no longer any distinct existence.”

Regarding council tax, the local authority issue a bill each year relating specifically to that year's liability.

See also the House of Lords "Cory Brothers & Company Ltd. v "Mecca" (Owners of Turkish Steamship)"

“The rule in Clayton's Case (1 Mer. 572)
that where there is an account current be-
tween parties, and payments are made with-
out appropriation by either debtor or cre-
ditor, such payments are to be attributed to
the earliest items in the account, does not
apply to a case in which debts arise from
distinct transactions which are not brought
into a common account, and where....”

However, looking at the quoted authority by the council from the Peter v Anderson case:

"a person who is indebted to another on two several accounts, may, on paying him money, ascribe it to which account he pleases and his election may either be expressed or may be inferred from the circumstances of the transaction."

The above affirms that the inference from the circumstances of a transaction can be just as valid an election by the debtor to pay specifically on one of several accounts as if his election were expressed. It is therefore self-evident that in the case of Council Tax liability (where one account is more onerous for the debtor than another) that an unmatched payment must be carried to that account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. It follows that a debtor who would be caused the additional burden from recovery action being taken in respect of his in-year liability as a consequence of payment being appropriated to his arrears, would clearly intend that his payment be appropriated to his in-year liability to avoid unnecessary additional costs etc. Evidence of an intent to appropriate would be provided in those particular circumstances to be an election to pay specifically on the current year's liability.

The judgment goes on to consider different circumstance which could indicate evidence of an intent to appropriate where an election has not been expressed. The above is considered to be one example where it would be inferred that money was paid in application to a particular debt (where the allocation to one account instead of another would prevent an unnecessary burden). Also highlighted in the judgment are the circumstances attributable to a debtor's payment pattern which would provide evidence of an intent to appropriate payment to a particular debt. If a pattern had emerged of a customer's payment being made and accepted as credited to a particular debt then it would be inferred from the nature of the transaction, even if not expressed at the time by the customer, that he intended to ascribe it to that account.

If it appears I have misunderstood anything from what I have stated I would appreciate if you would correct me.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Can I take it from the absence of a response to my 3 January 2018 email that I have understood correctly?

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Worth,

Thank you for your email.

The information provided is the Authority's response to your Freedom of
Information request below.

Is it that you are not happy with the response received?

Yours sincerely

Corporate Governance Team
for Director of Legal & Democratic Services

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedomofinformation,

I would like it clarifying how the council came to the decision that Devaynes v Noble (1816) applies in the case of council tax payments.

"Devaynes v Noble (1816) which established a common law rule based upon the notion of first-in, first-out to determine the effect of payments from an account, and will normally apply in the absence of evidence of any other intention. Payments are presumed to be appropriated to debts in the order in which the debts are incurred."

I raised this and a number of other matters in my email of 3 January 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Gadawodd M Davies anodiad ()

Awesome.

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Will you please say whether you are going to address my 29 March 2018 request/clarification

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Worth,

We sincerely apologise for the delay in response to your query below with
regard to above Freedom of Information Request.

We are still waiting to receive information from the relevant department,
however, I will chase this up again for you today and will update you when
possible.

Yours sincerely,

Carfan Llywodraethu Corfforaethol / Corporate Governance Team
ar ran Cyfarwyddwr Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol a Llywodraethol / for Director
of Legal & Democratic Services

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Worth,

Further to the email below in respect of your query regarding the above
Freedom of Information Request, the Authority's response is as follows;

The Council is satisfied that its processes for dealing with payments of
council tax are appropriate. The Council itself has reached no decision
with regard the piece of case law to which you refer but as it is expected
to do, the Council does on occasion rely on principles established through
the courts to administer its duties.

Yours sincerely

Carfan Llywodraethu Corfforaethol / Corporate Governance Team
ar ran Cyfarwyddwr Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol a Llywodraethol / for Director
of Legal & Democratic Services

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Thank you for your response on 15 May 2018, however, I am none the wiser.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywGwyn Worth mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

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