Council tax payment allocation in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sevenoaks District Council,

The Council makes the statement quoted below from the link:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

"In summary the principles established by the Courts are:

- if the amount of the payment identifies the debt, a specific instalment etc., then it must be allocated accordingly

- where the debtor states or implies that the payment should be allocated to a specific debt, then the creditor must abide by that statement

- where the debtor does not make any reference as to where the payment should be allocated then it is up to the creditor to make the choice.

Payments received that do not identify the debt and where the debtor does not make reference as to where the payment should be allocated are put towards the oldest debt - whether this be secured or unsecured."

The final two sentences in the above do not agree with the judgment in the case of R. v Miskin Lower Justices (see below link to the judgment):

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

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 final sentence 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 [1953]?

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

autoresponder@sevenoaks.gov.uk, Sevenoaks District Council

Dear Customer

Thank you for contacting Sevenoaks
District Council.

This is an automated response to
acknowledge your email has been received. If this is an initial request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental
Information Regulations 2004, we will respond to your request within 20 working
days. Should your email be received after 5pm, the 20 working day period will
begin from the next working day. Should we need further clarification regarding
your request, we will contact you as soon as possible.

If your email relates to a current request for information, please disregard this email.

Should you be dissatisfied with the way we have processed your request the Council has an internal review process which you can begin by contacting the Interim Democratic Services Manager ([email address]<mailto:[email address]>).

If you remain dissatisfied you have the right to appeal to the Information
Commissioners' Office (ICO) www.ico.org.uk/concerns/<http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns/>)

Please do not respond to this
automated response...

Thank you

[Follow SDC_newsdesk on Twitter]<http://www.twitter.com/SDC_newsdesk> [Follow on Facebook] <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevenoaks-...> [Follow on Pinterest] <http://pinterest.com/sdcouncil/> [Find us on LinkedIn] <http://www.linkedin.com/company/106565>
[IIP Platinum]

This email may contain privileged/confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient you may not copy, deliver or disclose the content of this message to anyone. In such case please destroy/delete the message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of Sevenoaks District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the Council. All email communications sent to or from Sevenoaks District Council may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

How do we handle your data<https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/privacy>? Would you like to unsubscribe from our emails<https://selfservice.sevenoaks.gov.uk/uns...>?

Visit the Council at www.SEVENOAKS.GOV.UK<http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk>

FOI, Sevenoaks District Council

1 Attachment

Dear S Staffordson

 

Freedom of Information Request: 611 - 2019

 

Thank you for your request received by Sevenoaks District Council on 13
September 2019.

 

In relation to your enquiry, please find the Council’s response set out
below.

 

Your enquiry was:

 

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 [1953]?

 

Our response:

 

The case you have stated essentially indicates it was reasonable to infer
that the debt was intended for an “original” debt where a person was
subject to imprisonment if it was not paid – in many cases that could be a
good reason for attributing the debt to the oldest debt (though not
always).

 

Please note that Sevenoaks District Council and Dartford Borough Council
run a joint team for the provision of Revenues and Benefits and the
response is on behalf of both councils.

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

I will put my request another way.

Where did the council obtain the advice/authority that enabled it to determine that it would be appropriate for the council to allocate payment which did not match a current instalment to the oldest debt outstanding. For example, a lawyer, the council's monitoring officer, the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) 10 October 2002 Insight magazine http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

Or here?
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

autoresponder@sevenoaks.gov.uk, Sevenoaks District Council

Dear Customer

Thank you for contacting Sevenoaks
District Council.

This is an automated response to
acknowledge your email has been received. If this is an initial request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental
Information Regulations 2004, we will respond to your request within 20 working
days. Should your email be received after 5pm, the 20 working day period will
begin from the next working day. Should we need further clarification regarding
your request, we will contact you as soon as possible.

If your email relates to a current request for information, please disregard this email.

Should you be dissatisfied with the way we have processed your request the Council has an internal review process which you can begin by contacting the Interim Democratic Services Manager ([email address]<mailto:[email address]>).

If you remain dissatisfied you have the right to appeal to the Information
Commissioners' Office (ICO) www.ico.org.uk/concerns/<http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns/>)

Please do not respond to this
automated response...

Thank you

[Follow SDC_newsdesk on Twitter]<http://www.twitter.com/SDC_newsdesk> [Follow on Facebook] <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevenoaks-...> [Follow on Pinterest] <http://pinterest.com/sdcouncil/> [Find us on LinkedIn] <http://www.linkedin.com/company/106565>
[IIP Platinum]

This email may contain privileged/confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient you may not copy, deliver or disclose the content of this message to anyone. In such case please destroy/delete the message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of Sevenoaks District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the Council. All email communications sent to or from Sevenoaks District Council may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

How do we handle your data<https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/privacy>? Would you like to unsubscribe from our emails<https://selfservice.sevenoaks.gov.uk/uns...>?

Visit the Council at www.SEVENOAKS.GOV.UK<http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk>

FOI, Sevenoaks District Council

1 Attachment

Good morning

 

Freedom of Information Request: 611 – 2019, further information

 

Thank you for your request received by Sevenoaks District Council on 14
October 2019.

 

In relation to your enquiry, please find the Council’s response set out
below.

 

Your enquiry was:

 

Where did the council obtain the advice/authority that enabled it to
determine that it would be appropriate for the council to allocate payment
which did not match a current instalment to the oldest debt outstanding.
For example, a lawyer, the council's monitoring officer, the Institute of
Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) 10 October 2002 Insight magazine
[1]http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

Or here?

[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

 

Our response:

 

We do not hold that specific information.

 

show quoted sections

Dear Sevenoaks District Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Sevenoaks District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council tax payment allocation in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]'.

When a decision is made with potentially legal implications the council is required to consult the Monitoring Officer and such procedures should be formally recorded. A decision that requires setting the parameters of a council tax payment processing system to automatically allocate non-specific payments to the oldest account rather than to the in-year account is one such decision.

If the proper legal process was followed when the decision was made then there will be a record of it comprising a background outlining the relevant legal requirements and risk assessment highlighting the degree to which the council would be exposed to legal challenge if not complied with. The following is an example of the kind of assessment that should have been documented.

https://democracy.npt.gov.uk/documents/s...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

autoresponder@sevenoaks.gov.uk, Sevenoaks District Council

Dear Customer

Thank you for contacting Sevenoaks
District Council.

This is an automated response to
acknowledge your email has been received. If this is an initial request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental
Information Regulations 2004, we will respond to your request within 20 working
days. Should your email be received after 5pm, the 20 working day period will
begin from the next working day. Should we need further clarification regarding
your request, we will contact you as soon as possible.

If your email relates to a current request for information, please disregard this email.

Should you be dissatisfied with the way we have processed your request the Council has an internal review process which you can begin by contacting the Interim Democratic Services Manager ([email address]<mailto:[email address]>).

If you remain dissatisfied you have the right to appeal to the Information
Commissioners' Office (ICO) www.ico.org.uk/concerns/<http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns/>)

Please do not respond to this
automated response...

Thank you

[Follow SDC_newsdesk on Twitter]<http://www.twitter.com/SDC_newsdesk> [Follow on Facebook] <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevenoaks-...> [Follow on Pinterest] <http://pinterest.com/sdcouncil/> [Find us on LinkedIn] <http://www.linkedin.com/company/106565>
[Christmas Waste & Recycling Collections]<https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/christmas>
[IIP Platinum]

This email may contain privileged/confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient you may not copy, deliver or disclose the content of this message to anyone. In such case please destroy/delete the message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of Sevenoaks District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the Council. All email communications sent to or from Sevenoaks District Council may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

How do we handle your data<https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/privacy>? Would you like to unsubscribe from our emails<https://selfservice.sevenoaks.gov.uk/uns...>?

Visit the Council at www.SEVENOAKS.GOV.UK<http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk>

Martin Goodman, Sevenoaks District Council

1 Attachment

Dear S Staffordson

 

As Monitoring Officer I have carried out a review of your Freedom of
Information Request.

 

Having investigated the matter, I am of the view that the process the
Council undertook to answer your request was sound.  Those handling your
request did not deviate from the adopted procedures and the reply was
timely, albeit without any information being provided to you.

 

As to the outcome of your request - that the Council did not hold the
information you asked for - this is correct.  The Council does not hold
information on who advised it where payments should be allocated and has
not taken specific advice on any particular case. 

 

If a payment is received which does not meet the exact instalment due and
there are other amounts due, the payment automatically is paid towards the
oldest debt. If a customer requests the payment against an amount due, the
Council complies with the customers wishes.

 

I trust you are satisfied with this response.  If you remain dissatisfied
you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioners’ Office
(ICO) [1]http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints .

 

Kind regards

 

Martin Goodman

Head of Legal and Democratic Services | Monitoring Officer | Data
Protection Officer

Sevenoaks District Council | Council Offices | Argyle Road | Sevenoaks |
Kent | TN13 1HG

Tel: 01732 227000

DX 30006 SEVENOAKS

Email: [2][email address]

Online: [3]www.sevenoaks.gov.uk

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are private and confidential
and may be subject to legal professional privilege.  It may not be
disclosed to or used by anyone other than the intended recipient without
the sender’s express consent.

 

If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender as soon
as possible and permanently delete this email.

 

 

 

[4]Follow SDC_newsdesk on Twitter   [5]Follow on Facebook     [6]Follow on
Pinterest   [7]Find us on LinkedIn

[8]IIP Platinum

This email may contain privileged/confidential information. It is intended
solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended
recipient you may not copy, deliver or disclose the content of this
message to anyone. In such case please destroy/delete the message
immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions
and other information in this message that do not relate to the official
business of Sevenoaks District Council shall be understood as neither
given nor endorsed by the Council. All email communications sent to or
from Sevenoaks District Council may be subject to recording and/or
monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

How do we [9]handle your data? Would you like to [10]unsubscribe from our
emails?

Visit the Council at [11]WWW.SEVENOAKS.GOV.UK

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/
4. http://www.twitter.com/SDC_newsdesk
5. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevenoaks-...
6. http://pinterest.com/sdcouncil/
7. http://www.linkedin.com/company/106565
9. https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/privacy
10. https://selfservice.sevenoaks.gov.uk/uns...
11. http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/

Dear Martin Goodman,

Thank you for you response. You will probably not wish to take this into consideration but as you have appeared to approve the council's method of applying unspecified payments with no regard to established case authority you have virtually invited comment.

A customer having one liability more onerous for him than another must have his payment if it were unspecified carried to that account which it is most beneficial for him to reduce. A customer 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 applied to his arrears, would clearly have intended his payment to 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. 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.

In any event, 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, and the best chance of achieving that 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.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson