Exercising discretion when applying to the court for a Council Tax Liability Order

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Herefordshire Council,

The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (the "Regulations") confer a duty on the billing authority to exercise discretion under regulation 34(1) when deciding whether to institute a complaint to the Magistrates' court to enforce payment.

Regulation 34(1) as amended by Regulation 15 of SI 1992/3008 states, with the relevant part emphasised, as follows:

"If an amount which has fallen due under paragraph (3) or (4) of regulation 23 (including those paragraphs as applied as mentioned in regulation 28A(2)) is wholly or partly unpaid, or (in a case where a final notice is required under regulation 33) the amount stated in the final notice is wholly or partly unpaid at the expiry of the period of 7 days beginning with the day on which the notice was issued, THE BILLING AUTHORITY MAY, in accordance with paragraph (2), apply to a magistrates' court for an order against the person by whom it is payable."

Regulation 34(2) states as follows:

"The application is to be instituted by making complaint to a justice of the peace, and requesting the issue of a summons directed to that person to appear before the court to show why he has not paid the sum which is outstanding."

The following are examples (but by no means exhaustive) of what are reasonable factors a recovery officer should take into account in exercising discretion to institute a complaint to the Magistrates court under paragraph (2) of regulation 34 of the Regulations:

1. the level of debt outstanding

2. any payments made subsequent to the full amount becoming due and time remaining of the financial year

3. are circumstances indicative of the debt being settled without resorting to enforcement

4. consider if enforcing the debt would unnecessarily subject the taxpayer to additional costs etc. and therefore amount to a penalty (see 3 above)

5. ensure monies have been prioritised to maintaining the in-year debt

6. allocate to the in-year any monies posted to arrears (or sufficient of it) that would if it had not been misallocated prevented the in-year liability also falling in arrears (see 5 above)

7. check for benefit claims or appeals already in the system and refrain from taking enforcement action where such genuine cases are unresolved

Q1. Does Herefordshire Council exercise discretion before proceeding under regulation 34(2) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 to request a summons from a justice of the peace (it may be an automated process)

Q2. If yes to (1) what factors are taken into consideration

Yours faithfully,

Helen Barker

Pritchard, Bethan, Herefordshire Council

6 Atodiad

Good afternoon,

 

Please see attached acknowledgement for your Freedom of Information
request.

 

Regards

 

Bethan

 

[1]age

[2]age

 

Name        Mrs Bethan Pritchard                           Information
Access Team

Job title     Information Access Officer                 Plough Lane

Landline    01432 260535                                        Hereford

[3][email address]                  HR4 0LE

                                                                    

[4]cid:image001.png@01D45021.AD6FB8B0[5]cid:image002.png@01D45021.AD6FB8B0[6]cid:image003.png@01D45021.AD6FB8B0

 

 

                                                                    

   

 

 

“Any opinion expressed in this e-mail or any attached files are those of
the individual and not necessarily those of Herefordshire Council,
Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), Wye Valley NHS Trust or
2gether NHS Foundation Trust. You should be aware that Herefordshire
Council, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), Wye Valley NHS
Trust & 2gether NHS Foundation Trust monitors its email service. This
e-mail and any attached files are confidential and intended solely for the
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References

Visible links
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Pritchard, Bethan, Herefordshire Council

6 Atodiad

Good afternoon,

 

Please see attached response for your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards

 

Bethan

 

[1]age

[2]age

 

Name        Mrs Bethan Pritchard                           Information
Access Team

Job title     Information Access Officer                 Plough Lane

Landline    01432 260535                                        Hereford

[3][email address]                  HR4 0LE

                                                                    

[4]cid:image001.png@01D45021.AD6FB8B0[5]cid:image002.png@01D45021.AD6FB8B0[6]cid:image003.png@01D45021.AD6FB8B0

 

 

                                                                    

   

 

 

“Any opinion expressed in this e-mail or any attached files are those of
the individual and not necessarily those of Herefordshire Council,
Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), Wye Valley NHS Trust or
2gether NHS Foundation Trust. You should be aware that Herefordshire
Council, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), Wye Valley NHS
Trust & 2gether NHS Foundation Trust monitors its email service. This
e-mail and any attached files are confidential and intended solely for the
use of the addressee. This communication may contain material protected by
law from being passed on. If you are not the intended recipient and have
received this e-mail in error, you are advised that any use,
dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this e-mail is strictly
prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error please contact the
sender immediately and destroy all copies of it.”

References

Visible links
1. file://herefordshire.gov.uk/data/C&CS/Communications/PublicRelations/00%20AJ%20Folder/Branding/www.herefordshire.gov.uk
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://twitter.com/HfdsCouncil
5. https://www.facebook.com/hfdscouncil
6. https://www.instagram.com/hfdscouncil/