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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Canterbury City Council,

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

"If a payment does not match exactly either the debt outstanding or an instalment due, the payment is allocated to the oldest debt outstanding."

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):

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 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 [1953]?

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.  Your email has
been forwarded to the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection Coordinator. 
We endeavour to respond to all Freedom of Information requests within 20
working days but if we think the request requires extra time we will
contact you to let you know.
Kind regards
Freedom of Information Team
Canterbury City Council

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Reference:         7917

Title:                 Council tax payment allocation

 

Thank you for your freedom of information request.

 

Please see below for our response. 

If you are unhappy with the way your enquiry has been dealt with, you may
ask for an internal review by e-mailing [1][email address] or by
following the procedure set out on the council’s website. 

If you are still dissatisfied after an internal review, you may appeal to
the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9
5AF.

Kind regards,

 

Emma

 

 

Information Governance Team

Corporate Governance

Canterbury City Council

Tel: 01227 862325

[2]www.canterbury.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

Reference:         7917

Title:                 Council tax payment allocation

Date of reply:    04 October 2019

 

 

Request:

The Council makes the statement quoted below from the link:
[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

"If a payment does not match exactly either the debt outstanding or an
instalment due, the payment is allocated to the oldest debt outstanding".

The council's statement above does not agree with the judgment in the case
of R. v Miskin Lower Justices.

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]

Question:

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:

Council Tax accounts have unique account reference numbers and payments
will be allocated to the account reference that the customer quotes when
making payment.

Where a payment does not match exactly either the debt outstanding or an
instalment due on that account, the payment is allocated to the oldest
debt outstanding. The oldest debt is considered the most beneficial debt
to clear for our customers. 

There is no manual intervention in this process unless a customer contacts
us to advise payment was intended for an alternative year's charge and
then the payment can be moved upon request. Therefore, should a customer
contact us and request that the payment they have made be reallocated to
the debt that is the most beneficial for them, we would reallocate the
payment as instructed.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.canterbury.gov.uk/
3. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

Dear CCC FOI,

Thank you for your reply. However, I don't agree that the oldest debt would be considered the most beneficial debt to clear for council tax payers (the debt would not necessarily be cleared as a consequence of the allocation). This would almost certainly result in the Council's automated recovery procedure being triggered to the detriment of the taxpayer by way of unnecessary additional costs relating to the enforcement of the in-year account which would have fallen in arrears not as a result of the taxpayer failing to maintain his account but as a consequence of the billing authority misappropriating payment.

The council is most likely to have already obtained a liability order adding costs in respect of any older debts that the taxpayer might have and the council cannot repeat this procedure adding more costs again for the same year's liability.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.  Your email has
been forwarded to the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection Coordinator. 
We endeavour to respond to all Freedom of Information requests within 20
working days but if we think the request requires extra time we will
contact you to let you know.
Kind regards
Freedom of Information Team
Canterbury City Council

Dear Canterbury City Council,

I would like my query addressing re, 13 October, and would also like to bring it to your attention that my request asked "where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law" (the response never dealt with this).

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.  Your email has
been forwarded to the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection Coordinator. 
We endeavour to respond to all Freedom of Information requests within 20
working days but if we think the request requires extra time we will
contact you to let you know.
Kind regards
Freedom of Information Team
Canterbury City Council

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Good morning
I have checked our records for you and can see that we issued a response
on 04 October 2019 to your query which asked  "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]?"
I can also see we received a reply from you on 13 October 2019 however
this contained no further questions, nor was it apparent you were seeking
a review of your response.  If you wish us to review the response issued
on 04 October 2019 please could you confirm this so I can get one out
officers to do this for you?
Many thanks
Emma

Dear Canterbury City Council,

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

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

My request asked "where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law" (the response never dealt with this).

I would also like my query addressing re, 13 October (quoted below):

"Thank you for your reply. However, I don't agree that the oldest debt would be considered the most beneficial debt to clear for council tax payers (the debt would not necessarily be cleared as a consequence of the allocation). This would almost certainly result in the Council's automated recovery procedure being triggered to the detriment of the taxpayer by way of unnecessary additional costs relating to the enforcement of the in-year account which would have fallen in arrears not as a result of the taxpayer failing to maintain his account but as a consequence of the billing authority misappropriating payment.

The council is most likely to have already obtained a liability order adding costs in respect of any older debts that the taxpayer might have and the council cannot repeat this procedure adding more costs again for the same year's liability."

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

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.  Your email has
been forwarded to the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection Coordinator. 
We endeavour to respond to all Freedom of Information requests within 20
working days but if we think the request requires extra time we will
contact you to let you know.
Kind regards
Freedom of Information Team
Canterbury City Council

Dear Canterbury City Council,

Can you please let me know how this review is progressing.

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

CCC FOI, Canterbury City Council

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.  Your email has
been forwarded to the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection Coordinator. 
We endeavour to respond to all Freedom of Information requests within 20
working days but if we think the request requires extra time we will
contact you to let you know.
Kind regards
Freedom of Information Team
Canterbury City Council

CCC FOISupport, Canterbury City Council

Good afternoon
I can confirm we do currently have your request as open, and one of our
officers is looking into this for you with the council tax team.  We are
slightly delayed with the response, but the request itself is currently
open and we are awaiting a response to this for you. I will send a chase
for you in respect of this.  In the meantime, should you have any
enquiries please get in touch.
Many thanks
Emma

show quoted sections

Dear CCC FOISupport,

Thank you for updating me.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson