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

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Dear Norwich City Council,

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

"Norwich City Council have the software set up so that any incoming payment that does not match an instalment plan will be offset against the oldest debt."

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

CIVICA MAILBOXES, Norwich City Council

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[1]cid:image001.png@01D0720B.EA29F790

 

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2. http://www.norwich.gov.uk/
3. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20344/pa...

FOI QUERIES, Norwich City Council

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. I can confirm the
information you have requested is held by Norwich City Council.

 

Request

 

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

"Norwich City Council have the software set up so that any incoming
payment that does not match an instalment plan will be offset against the
oldest debt."

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):

[2]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]?
 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI QUERIES,

Re your response:

"When a customer makes a payment to their account the billing system has rules in place that either match the payment to a specific instalment or amount due. If an unspecified payment is received that the billing system cannot match automatically it would be assigned to the oldest debt. As this is an automatic process the council is unable to examine each individual payment made at that stage.

The most beneficial allocation in most cases has been judged to be the oldest debt to avoid unnecessary referrals to enforcement agents or other more serious steps. At the stage of any further action we would examine the customer’s account and reallocate any payments that would be more beneficial and where we are aware of a customer’s preference, payments would be reallocated accordingly."

Thank you for your reply. However, I don't agree that the most beneficial allocation in most cases would be to the oldest debt. This would almost certainly result in the Council's automated recovery procedure kicking in 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.

That said, if the council does at it says and examines the customer’s account (at the stage of any further action) and reallocates any payments which would be more beneficial, that would apparently be in accordance with the judgment in R v Miskin Lower Justice. However, it would depend on what stage is being referred to as 'the stage of any further action' as this would have to be before the sending out of a statutory reminder notice and certainly before the customer incurs summons cost.

What stage is the council referring to as 'the stage of any further action'?

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

CIVICA MAILBOXES, Norwich City Council

1 Attachment

[1]cid:image001.png@01D0720B.EA29F790

 

Thank you for contacting us.

Please visit our website at [2]www.norwich.gov.uk to access information
and services including online applications for our most commonly used
forms. You can also send us your comments, compliments or complaints
online.

Freedom of Information Act requests
In accordance with the act we will respond to enquiries within 20 working
days.

You can also contact us in the following ways:

* 0344 980 3333 (general enquiries)
* 24 hour telephone payments – 0800 021 7784

* For 24 hour online payments, click [3]here

 

 

Information for customers who use the ‘Read receipt’ function

Emails sent to our mailboxes are automatically picked up by our systems,
forwarded on to the relevant departments, and then automatically deleted.

As a result, any read receipt you request will inform you that your
message has been deleted without being read.

This is not correct, and your email will be read and responded to as
required.

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
2. http://www.norwich.gov.uk/
3. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20344/pa...

Dear Norwich City Council,

I would like my query addressing re, 20 September, 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

CIVICA MAILBOXES, Norwich City Council

1 Attachment

[1]cid:image001.png@01D0720B.EA29F790

 

Thank you for contacting us.

Please visit our website at [2]www.norwich.gov.uk to access information
and services including online applications for our most commonly used
forms. You can also send us your comments, compliments or complaints
online.

Freedom of Information Act requests
In accordance with the act we will respond to enquiries within 20 working
days.

You can also contact us in the following ways:

* 0344 980 3333 (general enquiries)
* 24 hour telephone payments – 0800 021 7784

* For 24 hour online payments, click [3]here

 

 

Information for customers who use the ‘Read receipt’ function

Emails sent to our mailboxes are automatically picked up by our systems,
forwarded on to the relevant departments, and then automatically deleted.

As a result, any read receipt you request will inform you that your
message has been deleted without being read.

This is not correct, and your email will be read and responded to as
required.

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
2. http://www.norwich.gov.uk/
3. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20344/pa...

FOI QUERIES, Norwich City Council

 

Dear S Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request, please find our
response below:

 

 

Request

 

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

"Norwich City Council have the software set up so that any incoming
payment that does not match an instalment plan will be offset against the
oldest debt."

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):

[2]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]?
 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI QUERIES,

Most of what you have stated in your 6 January 2020 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 logically the frequency with which payment would be correctly applied would be maximised (under automated conditions) 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

CIVICA MAILBOXES, Norwich City Council

1 Attachment

[1]cid:image001.png@01D0720B.EA29F790

 

Thank you for contacting us.

Please visit our website at [2]www.norwich.gov.uk to access information
and services including online applications for our most commonly used
forms. You can also send us your comments, compliments or complaints
online.

Freedom of Information Act requests
In accordance with the act we will respond to enquiries within 20 working
days.

You can also contact us in the following ways:

* 0344 980 3333 (general enquiries)
* 24 hour telephone payments – 0800 021 7784

* For 24 hour online payments, click [3]here

 

 

Information for customers who use the ‘Read receipt’ function

Emails sent to our mailboxes are automatically picked up by our systems,
forwarded on to the relevant departments, and then automatically deleted.

As a result, any read receipt you request will inform you that your
message has been deleted without being read.

This is not correct, and your email will be read and responded to as
required.

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
2. http://www.norwich.gov.uk/
3. https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20344/pa...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are S Staffordson please sign in and let everyone know.