FOI Request - Council Tax Payments

Request 101002420394

I am aware that sometimes when people close their council tax account, they are often left with money in that account. This results in a closed council tax account being in credit.

I am also aware that some people still choose to pay their council tax by cash or by cheque.

I would like to know, for each of the following tax years: 2016/17, 17/18, 18/19, 19/20 (up to now if possible): How many council tax accounts paid for their council tax by cash/cheque? How much was this as a proportion of total active accounts?

Separately, I am aware that many councils automatically refund closed accounts where the account holder has paid by certain methods, which make it possible to refund them (such as direct debit), whereas with other payment methods this would not be possible:

Can you list the payment methods (if any) that would result in you automatically refunding an account if it were closed in credit? NB automatically here means, without the customer having to take any form of action whatsoever (so you don't have to contact them to confirm payment details or anything similar)

Response 18-03-2020

1. In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 please be advised that we do not hold any records of cash/cheque payments for 2016/17 as this was on previous software. Furthermore, payments made by cash or cheque at a Post Office or Paypoint outlet are not held, and so the below figures are only for payments received through the mailroom (they process cheques and small number of cash payments received through the mail). We can only provide a number of transactions paid by cash/cheque through the mailroom in that time period. There could be multiple payments by the same person within that figure.

2016/17 - No figures available
2017/18 - 528
2018/19 - 1517
2019/20 (up to 05/03/20) - 1161

As we are not able to provide accurate figures for number of accounts paying by cash/cheque, we would not be able to calculate this as a proportion of total active accounts.

2. Moray Council would automatically refund any closed accounts with no ongoing liability or outstanding debts on other liabilities. It would also refund accounts currently or previously paid by Direct Debit, where we hold bank details.

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