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

Gwyn Worth made this Freedom of Information request to Kingston upon Thames Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Thank you for submitting your Freedom of Information request.

 

 

We will respond to your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations within 20
days of the request being received.

 

If you request personal information under the Data Protection Act, the
timescale is 40 days.

Disclaimers apply, for full details see :
(https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200281/...)

<Complaints & FOI>, Kingston upon Thames Borough Council

Dear Gwyn Worth ,

Freedom Of Information Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail to the Customer Contact Centre containing a
Freedom of Information request.

 

Your request has been processed under the job number CAS-443010-V3S0K9 and
a response will be sent to you within twenty working days as defined by
the Act.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 
Freedom of Information Team

Royal Borough of Kingston

[1]http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200232/c...

The information contained in this message is confidential. It is intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and
others authorised to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, copying,
dissemination or disclosure of this information is strictly prohibited.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200232/c...

CTAX, Kingston upon Thames Borough Council

1 Attachment

 

Dear Gwyn Worth,

 

Further to your recent request made under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 please find attached my response and the information you require.

Yours sincerely,

A Faulkner
Revenues Manager

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Guildhall, High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1EU

Web: [1]www.kingston.gov.uk

 

 

The information contained in this message is confidential. It is intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and
others authorised to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, copying,
dissemination or disclosure of this information is strictly prohibited

 

Disclaimers apply, for full details see :
(https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200281/...)

References

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

Dear CTAX,

Thank you for clarifying my query. I consider Kingston upon Thames 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's response (see *note*) that there are measures in place 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. This effectively means that 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.

*Note*: "In addition to this all accounts are manually checked before the issue of a summons and any payment clearly intended for the current year or otherwise that had been automatically allocated to a previous older year would be corrected to prevent further recovery action from taking place."

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

CTAX, Kingston upon Thames Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

We aim to answer your enquiry within 10 working days.  Where possible we
will respond by e-mail. However, for security reasons, where information
is of a confidential nature we will reply by letter.

 

We receive large volumes of customer enquiries and it would help us to
provide a better level of service to all our customers if you did not
contact us again until the 10 working days has expired.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs M Tam

Head of Revenues, Benefits and Pensions

Web: [1]www.kingston.gov.uk

 

Why not visit us online? You can now do all the following things, quickly
and securely online at [2]www.kingston.gov.uk

Pay your Council Tax/Business Rates

Apply or cancel a sole occupier discount

Inform us if you are moving house

Set up or change a Direct Debit

View your Council Tax account

Apply for a discount or exemption

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimers apply, for full details see :
(https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200281/...)

References

Visible links
1. http://www.kingston.gov.uk/
2. http://www.kingston.gov.uk/

CTAX, Kingston upon Thames Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

We aim to answer your enquiry within 10 working days.  Where possible we
will respond by e-mail. However, for security reasons, where information
is of a confidential nature we will reply by letter.

 

We receive large volumes of customer enquiries and it would help us to
provide a better level of service to all our customers if you did not
contact us again until the 10 working days has expired.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs M Tam

Head of Revenues, Benefits and Pensions

Web: [1]www.kingston.gov.uk

 

Why not visit us online? You can now do all the following things, quickly
and securely online at [2]www.kingston.gov.uk

Pay your Council Tax/Business Rates

Apply or cancel a sole occupier discount

Inform us if you are moving house

Set up or change a Direct Debit

View your Council Tax account

Apply for a discount or exemption

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimers apply, for full details see :
(https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200281/...)

References

Visible links
1. http://www.kingston.gov.uk/
2. http://www.kingston.gov.uk/