FOI Request - National Non-Domestic Rate Accounts
We are writing to request a schedule (in an electronic spread sheet format if possible) of all National Non-Domestic Rate accounts in your billing authority area that still have a credit balance shown on them from any time from 1 April 1990 to date. The reason for the credit might be, but will not be limited to: closed account, alteration to the rating list, void relief awarded, section 44a relief awarded, certification, and transfers between accounts or interest.
We do not expect you to supply details for sole traders or private individuals, partnerships or limited liability partnerships as this will be excluded under Data Protection laws. We require details of limited companies, unlimited companies, public limited companies, government departments, and local authorities.
Please supply the name of the ratepayer, the billing authority reference number, the address of the hereditament, the amount of the credit balance and the rate year(s) to which it applies. Please confirm the date the schedule was generated.
I would confirm that Non-Domestic Rate accounts which are in credit as the result of an adjustment or an overpayment are routinely dealt with as part of the daily duties of the Council's Revenues staff.
In these circumstances, newly-created credits are quickly refunded by users and this ensures that credit balances do not remain on accounts. The only exception occurs when staff deal with a dispute on an account or are awaiting information to the issue of the refund cheque to the appropriate payee. In each case this will delay the issue of a refund-cheque.
In addition to these factors, some cheques are not cashed within the six-month period and in such circumstances, such a cheque will be cancelled and this will result in the rates account again becoming overpaid.
I can, therefore, confirm there are no long-term overpaid balances on Non-Domestic Rates accounts other than those the Council is currently unable to refund due to one of the factors that I have already identified.