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

The request was successful.

Dear Castle Point Borough 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 Castle Point Borough Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Ellie Goodwin, Castle Point Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear sirs

 

Please find attached an acknowledgement to your Freedom Of Information
Request.

 

Kind Regards

 

Ellie Goodwin
Legal Apprentice

[1]cid:image005.jpg@01D25171.B42C92A0

 

Castle Point Borough Council | telephone: 01268 882435 | email:
[2][email address]| website: [3]www.castlepoint.gov.uk

A: Council Offices | Kiln Road | Benfleet | Essex | SS7 1TF

 

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

 

Keep up to date on what’s happening at Castle Point....Follow us on
Twitter @CastlePointBC

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.castlepoint.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. file:///tmp/www.castlepoint.gov.uk

Cheryl Salmon, Castle Point Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Gwyn,

 

Further to your request, please find set out below a response from our
Revenues Department.

 

“Non-specific payments are allocated to current year”

 

The Council considers that the above response fully complies with the
requirements placed on the Council under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) 2000 but a person making a request for information under the FOIA
2000 may complain to the Review Officer if they are dissatisfied with the
Council’s response.  Details regarding the complaints procedure may be
obtained from the Data Controller at the Council Offices Benfleet.

 

 

Regards

 

Cheryl Salmon
Civic Governance Officer

Civic Governance and Law

 

[1]cid:image005.jpg@01D25171.B42C92A0

Castle Point Borough Council | telephone: 01268 882454 | email:
[2][email address]  | website: [3]www.castlepoint.gov.uk

 

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

 

Keep up to date on what’s happening at Castle Point....Follow us on
Twitter @CastlePointBC

 

 

Dear Cheryl Salmon,

I consider Castle Point Borough 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.

R v Miskin Lower Justices (1953)

It was held in R v Miskin Lower Justices, that where an amount obviously relates to a specific liability, it would be an unwarranted assumption to allocate the payment elsewhere.

If no instruction is given at the time of payment, then the council has a duty to allocate payment to the account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. That would be in the majority of cases the current liability if the consequences of allocating payment to the arrears meant that the customer was subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs etc.

I understand by the council allocating unmatched payments to the current liability that it is the council's priority 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. The circumstances would imply that this was the debtor's intention as the consequences of doing otherwise would be to put the current year's liability also in arrears.

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

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Auto Reply, Castle Point Borough Council

This is an automated response to thank you for your email which has just
been received by Cheryl Salmon.

We aim to respond fully to all emails from the public as soon as possible,
where they are seeking a response.  However, please note that if your
enquiry is particularly complicated or requires substantial investigation
then it may take up to 10 working days to provide you with a full and
accurate response.

If you have access to the Internet you may wish to see if your enquiry can
be dealt with online at [1]www.castlepoint.gov.uk .  The Council’s website
enables many forms to be completed and payments to be made online as well
as providing comprehensive information.

Please do not reply to this automated response.

 

          

References

Visible links
1. http://www.castlepoint.gov.uk/

Cheryl Salmon, Castle Point Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Gwyn,

 

Further to your email of 7th November 2017, please find set out below a
response from our Revenues Department

 

 

“The Council confirms that the principles surrounding the appropriation of
payments are being adhered to with reference to case law where applicable”

 

 

Regards

 

Cheryl Salmon
Civic Governance Officer

Civic Governance and Law

 

[1]cid:image005.jpg@01D25171.B42C92A0

Castle Point Borough Council | telephone: 01268 882454 | email:
[2][email address]  | website: [3]www.castlepoint.gov.uk

 

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

 

Keep up to date on what’s happening at Castle Point....Follow us on
Twitter @CastlePointBC

 

 

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org