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

Gwyn Worth made this Freedom of Information request to Denbighshire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Denbighshire Council

1 Attachment

FOI Acknowledgement

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr Worth,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

Thank you for your recent request for information held by Denbighshire
County Council received 07/11/2017 regarding COUNCIL TAX.
As set out by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 it will be our aim to
respond to your request by 05/12/2017. In some cases, however, we may be
unable to achieve this deadline. If this occurs we will advise you of the
likely timescale within which the response will be provided.

Under the Freedom of Information Act the Council may charge for
disbursement costs (e.g. photocopies, postage). However should there be
any such costs, you will be notified of this prior to the commencement of
any work.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further advice or guidance
relating to the above.

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ymateb i unrhyw
ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at unrhyw oedi. We welcome
correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to any correspondence in Welsh
which will not lead to a delay.

Yours sincerely

Kerry Standen
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth / Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire County Council
Ffon / Tel: 01824 708242
E-bost:[email address]
E-mail:[email address]
Gwefan http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk Website
http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

 

Kerry Standen, Denbighshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Worth,

Thank you for your request for information received 07/11/2017 concerning
COUNCIL TAX. Please see below:

 

If a non specific amount of money is paid and there are arrears on the
account the payment will be allocated to the oldest bill first.

If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact
me.

If you have any queries regarding this response, please do not hesitate to
contact me at the following address: Access to Information Officer,
Corporate Information Management Team, PO BOX 62, Wynnstay Road, Ruthin,
LL15 9AZ. Alternatively, if you are unhappy with the way the council has
handled your request and wish to ask for internal review, please contact
the Corporate Information Manager at the same address. If you are
subsequently not content with the outcome of the review, you have the
right to apply to the Information Commissioner whose address is Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

The contents of this communication and the enclosed documents are subject
to copyright protection. It has been sent to you for your information and
you may use it for any private study and non-commercial research. The
information may also be used for the purposes of news reporting. Re-use
for commercial publication requires the permission of this Council.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further advice or guidance
relating to the above.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Kerry Standen
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth / Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire County Council
Ffon / Tel: 01824 708242
E-bost:[email address]
E-mail:[email address]
Gwefan [1]http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk
Website [2]http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

 

[3]cymraeg-logo2Dysgwr

 

 

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ymateb i unrhyw
ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at unrhyw oedi.

We welcome correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to any correspondence
in Welsh which will not lead to a delay.

 

Dilyn ni ar Twitter: http://twitter.com/cyngorsDd - Follow us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/DenbighshireCC
Ymwelwch a ni ar-lein ar http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk - Visit us online
at http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

Mae'r wybodaeth a gynhwysir yn yr e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a
drosglwyddir gydag o wedi eu bwriadu yn unig ar gyfer pwy bynnag y
cyfeirir ef ato neu atynt. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn drwy
gamgymeriad, hysbyswch yr anfonwr ar unwaith os gwelwch yn dda. Mae
cynnwys yr e-bost yn cynrychioli barn yr unigolyn(ion) a enwir uchod ac
nid yw o angenrheidrwydd yn cynrychioli barn Cyngor Sir Ddinbych. Serch
hynny, fel Corff Cyhoeddus, efallai y bydd angen i Gyngor Sir Ddinbych
ddatgelu'r e-bost hwn [neu unrhyw ymateb iddo] dan ddarpariaethau
deddfwriaethol.
The information contained in this e-mail message and any files transmitted
with it is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom
they are addressed. If you have received this e-mail in error please
notify the sender immediately. The contents of this e-mail represents the
views of the individual(s) named above and do not necessarily represent
the views of Denbighshire County Council. However, as a Public Body,
Denbighshire County Council may be required to disclose this e-mail [or
any response to it] under legislative provisions.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk/
2. http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/

Dear Kerry Standen,

Thank you for stating that 'if a non specific amount of money is paid and there are arrears on the account the payment will be allocated to the oldest bill first'.

Would you please confirm whether or not any measures are in place to check that allocating an unmatched payment to the oldest debt in these circumstances would have the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears, and if so, in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953] 1 Q.B. 533, whether the payment would be moved in respect of the current year's account to avoid unnecessary recovery action, additional costs etc.?

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Denbighshire Council

1 Attachment

FOI Acknowledgement

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Gwyn Worth,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

Thank you for your recent request for information held by Denbighshire
County Council received 08/11/2017 regarding COUNCIL TAX DEBT (2)

As set out by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 it will be our aim to
respond to your request by 06/12/2017. In some cases, however, we may be
unable to achieve this deadline. If this occurs we will advise you of the
likely timescale within which the response will be provided.

Under the Freedom of Information Act the Council may charge for
disbursement costs (e.g. photocopies, postage). However should there be
any such costs, you will be notified of this prior to the commencement of
any work.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further advice or guidance
relating to the above.

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ymateb i unrhyw
ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at unrhyw oedi. We welcome
correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to any correspondence in Welsh
which will not lead to a delay.

Yours sincerely

Kerry Standen
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth / Access to Information Officer Cyngor Sir
Ddinbych / Denbighshire County Council Ffon / Tel: 01824 708242
E-bost:[email address]
E-mail:[email address] Gwefan
http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk Website http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

 

Kerry Standen, Denbighshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Worth,

Thank you for your request for information received 08/11/2017 concerning
COUNCIL TAX DEBT. Please see below:

 

Daily reports are run to ensure any arrears cases that have recovery
action on them and have received a payment against them are correct. If a
payment is made that doesn’t correspond to the arrears then the money may
be transferred to the current year. However each case is looked at on an
individual basis depending on the circumstances.

Further costs could be incurred on arrears cases if the money was
allocated to current year depending on the circumstance. If the tax payer
pays in accordance with their bill the money will be allocated to the
correct year.

 
If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact
me.

If you have any queries regarding this response, please do not hesitate to
contact me at the following address: Access to Information Officer,
Corporate Information Management Team, PO BOX 62, Wynnstay Road, Ruthin,
LL15 9AZ. Alternatively, if you are unhappy with the way the council has
handled your request and wish to ask for internal review, please contact
the Corporate Information Manager at the same address. If you are
subsequently not content with the outcome of the review, you have the
right to apply to the Information Commissioner whose address is Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

The contents of this communication and the enclosed documents are subject
to copyright protection. It has been sent to you for your information and
you may use it for any private study and non-commercial research. The
information may also be used for the purposes of news reporting. Re-use
for commercial publication requires the permission of this Council.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further advice or guidance
relating to the above.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Kerry Standen
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth / Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire County Council
Ffon / Tel: 01824 708242
E-bost:[email address]
E-mail:[email address]
Gwefan [1]http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk
Website [2]http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

 

[3]cymraeg-logo2Dysgwr

 

 

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ymateb i unrhyw
ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at unrhyw oedi.

We welcome correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to any correspondence
in Welsh which will not lead to a delay.

 

Dilyn ni ar Twitter: http://twitter.com/cyngorsDd - Follow us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/DenbighshireCC
Ymwelwch a ni ar-lein ar http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk - Visit us online
at http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

Mae'r wybodaeth a gynhwysir yn yr e-bost hwn ac unrhyw ffeiliau a
drosglwyddir gydag o wedi eu bwriadu yn unig ar gyfer pwy bynnag y
cyfeirir ef ato neu atynt. Os ydych wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn drwy
gamgymeriad, hysbyswch yr anfonwr ar unwaith os gwelwch yn dda. Mae
cynnwys yr e-bost yn cynrychioli barn yr unigolyn(ion) a enwir uchod ac
nid yw o angenrheidrwydd yn cynrychioli barn Cyngor Sir Ddinbych. Serch
hynny, fel Corff Cyhoeddus, efallai y bydd angen i Gyngor Sir Ddinbych
ddatgelu'r e-bost hwn [neu unrhyw ymateb iddo] dan ddarpariaethau
deddfwriaethol.
The information contained in this e-mail message and any files transmitted
with it is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom
they are addressed. If you have received this e-mail in error please
notify the sender immediately. The contents of this e-mail represents the
views of the individual(s) named above and do not necessarily represent
the views of Denbighshire County Council. However, as a Public Body,
Denbighshire County Council may be required to disclose this e-mail [or
any response to it] under legislative provisions.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk/
2. http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/

Dear Kerry Standen,

Thank you for clarifying my query. I consider Denbighshire Council has provided the information I requested, however, 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 indicating that the measures in place do not ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which it is least burdensome for the debtor that the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are not being complied with. If the laws of appropriation were being complied with, an unmatched payment allocated to the oldest debt (having the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears) would be reallocated to the current year's liability on account of the circumstances implying that this was the debtor's intention (least burdensome for the debtor).

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

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Kerry Standen, Denbighshire Council

Dear Mr Worth

Thank you for your email.

We have responded to your FOI request in full and have therefore decided not to enter into any further correspondence on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Kerry Standen
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth / Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire County Council
Ffon / Tel: 01824 708242
E-bost:[email address]
E-mail:[email address]
Gwefan http://www.sirddinbych.gov.uk
Website http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

Dysgwr

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ymateb i unrhyw ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at unrhyw oedi.
We welcome correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to any correspondence in Welsh which will not lead to a delay.

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