Local Government Finance Bill (HL Bill 39)

Local Government Finance BillPage 10

(6) This section does not affect the operation of Schedule 2 (administration
of council tax).

(7) In this section “council tax purposes” means purposes relating to a
person’s liability to pay council tax.

14B 5Regulations about offences

(1) The appropriate authority may by regulations provide for the creation
of offences that may be committed by a person in prescribed
circumstances—

(a) by intentionally delaying or obstructing a person in the exercise
10of a power conferred by regulations under section 14A(1);

(b) by refusing or failing to comply with any requirement under
regulations under section 14A(1)(b) or with the requirements of
any arrangements entered into in accordance with such
regulations;

(c) 15by refusing or failing, when required to do so by or under this
Act or by or under regulations made under this Act, to provide
any information or document in connection with a person’s
liability to pay council tax;

(d) by making a false statement or representation in connection
20with such liability;

(e) by providing, or causing or allowing to be provided, in
connection with such liability, a document or information
which is false;

(f) by failing to notify, or causing or allowing a person to fail to
25notify, a matter that is relevant to such liability (including in
particular any matter that is required to be notified by or under
this Act or by or under regulations made under this Act).

(2) Regulations under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c)—

(a) must provide for an offence under the regulations to be triable
30only summarily;

(b) may not provide for such an offence to be punishable with a fine
exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c)—

(a) may provide, in a case where a person is convicted of an offence
35under the regulations and the act or omission constituting the
offence continues after the conviction, for the person to be guilty
of a further offence and liable on summary conviction to a daily
fine;

(b) may not provide for the daily fine to exceed £40.

(4) 40Regulations under subsection (1)(d), (e) or (f) that create an offence that
may only be committed by a person acting dishonestly—

(a) must provide for the offence to be triable summarily or on
indictment;

(b) may not provide for the offence to be punishable on summary
45conviction with imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months
or with a fine exceeding the statutory maximum;

(c) may not provide for the offence to be punishable on conviction
on indictment with imprisonment for a term exceeding 7 years

Local Government Finance BillPage 11

(and may provide for the offence to be punishable on conviction
on indictment with a fine).

(5) Regulations under this section that create an offence within subsection
(4) that may be committed before the date that section 154(1) of the
5Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force may not provide for such an
offence committed before that date to be punishable on summary
conviction with imprisonment for a term exceeding 6 months.

(6) Regulations under subsection (1)(d), (e) or (f) that create an offence that
may be committed by a person acting otherwise than dishonestly—

(a) 10must provide for the offence to be triable only summarily;

(b) may not provide for the offence to be punishable with
imprisonment for a term exceeding 51 weeks or with a fine
exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(7) Regulations under this section that create an offence within subsection
15(6) that may be committed before the date that section 281(5) of the
Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force may not provide for such an
offence committed before that date to be punishable with
imprisonment for a term exceeding 3 months.

(8) The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision—

(a) 20about defences to an offence under regulations under this
section;

(b) about the commission by a body corporate of such an offence;

(c) about the conduct of proceedings for such an offence;

(d) about the time limits for bringing such proceedings;

(e) 25about the determination of issues arising in such proceedings;

(f) about other matters of procedure and evidence in relation to
such offences.

(9) The provision that may be made by regulations under this section
includes, in particular, provision equivalent to—

(a) 30provision made by a relevant enactment, or

(b) provision that is capable of being made under a relevant
enactment,

with such modifications as the appropriate authority thinks fit

(10) For the purposes of subsection (9), each of the following enactments as
35it had effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance Act
2012 was passed is a “relevant enactment”—

(a) section 111 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992
(offences relating to powers under that Act);

(b) section 111A of that Act (dishonest representations for
40obtaining benefit etc);

(c) section 112 of that Act (false representations for obtaining
benefit etc.);

(d) section 115 of that Act (offences by bodies corporate);

(e) section 116 of that Act (legal proceedings);

(f) 45section 121DA of that Act (interpretation of Part 6 of that Act);

(g) section 191 of that Act (interpretation of that Act).

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14C Regulations about penalties

(1) The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision for the
imposition of a penalty by a billing authority on a person where in
prescribed circumstances—

(a) 5that person’s act or omission results or could result in the
amount of council tax that a person (“P”) is liable to pay being
reduced or subject to a discount, and

(b) P is not or will not be entitled to that reduction or discount.

(2) The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision for the
10imposition of a penalty by a billing authority on a person where in
prescribed circumstances—

(a) that person’s act or omission results or could result in a
dwelling in respect of which a person (“P”) would otherwise be
liable to pay council tax being treated as an exempt dwelling for
15a period, and

(b) the dwelling is not or will not be an exempt dwelling for all or
part of that period.

(3) Regulations under this section must—

(a) make provision with the effect that a penalty may only be
20imposed on a person where the person agrees to the imposition
of the penalty as an alternative to criminal proceedings being
taken against the person in respect of the act or omission to
which the penalty relates,

(b) make provision with the effect that a penalty may only be
25imposed on a person where the person has not been charged
with an offence in respect of the act or omission to which the
penalty relates, or

(c) make provision within paragraph (a) and (b).

(4) This section does not affect the operation of Schedule 3 (penalties).

(5) 30The provision that may be made by regulations under this section
includes, in particular, provision equivalent to—

(a) provision made by a relevant enactment, or

(b) provision that is capable of being made under a relevant
enactment,

35with such modifications as the appropriate authority thinks fit.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5), each of the following is a “relevant
enactment”—

(a) section 115A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992
(penalty as alternative to prosecution);

(b) 40section 115B of that Act (penalty as alternative to prosecution:
colluding employers etc);

(c) section 115C of that Act (penalties in respect of incorrect
statements etc);

(d) section 115D of that Act (penalties in respect of failures to
45disclose information);

(e) section 121DA of that Act (interpretation of Part 6 of that Act);

(f) section 191 of that Act (interpretation of that Act).

(7) The reference in subsection (6)—

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(a) to section 115C or 115D of the Social Security Administration
Act 1992 is to that section without the repeals in it contained in
Part 1 of Schedule 14 to the Welfare Reform Act 2012;

(b) to any other provision of that Act is to the provision as it had
5effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance Act
2012 was passed.

14D Sections 14A to 14C: supplementary

(1) In sections 14A to 14C—

  • “the appropriate authority” means—

    (a)

    10the Secretary of State, in relation to England, and

    (b)

    the Welsh Ministers, in relation to Wales;

  • “prescribed”, in relation to regulations made by the Welsh
    Ministers, means prescribed by such regulations.

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Secretary of
15State under any of sections 14A to 14C may not be made unless a draft
of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of
each House of Parliament.

(3) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Welsh
Ministers under any of sections 14A to 14C may not be made unless a
20draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a
resolution of the National Assembly for Wales.

(3) In section 113(3) (application of negative procedure to orders and regulations
under the Act), after “except in the case of regulations under section” insert
“14A, 14B, 14C or”.

14 25Provision of information about council tax

(1) In Schedule 2 to the LGFA 1992, paragraph 2 (collection of council tax) is
amended as follows.

(2) After sub-paragraph (4)(i) (but before the word “and” following that
paragraph) insert—

(ia) 30that the authority must publish prescribed information in the
prescribed manner;.

(3) In sub-paragraph (4)(j), after “when it serves a notice” insert “or on the request
of the person”.

Information sharing

15 35Power for HMRC to supply information for purposes of council tax

(1) Schedule 2 to the LGFA 1992 (administration) is amended as follows.

(2) After paragraph 15 insert—

15A (1) A Revenue and Customs official may supply information which is
held by the Revenue and Customs in connection with a function of
40the Revenue and Customs to a qualifying person for prescribed
purposes relating to council tax.

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(2) The following are qualifying persons for the purpose of this
paragraph—

(a) a billing authority in England;

(b) a person authorised to exercise any function of such an
5authority relating to council tax;

(c) a person providing services to such an authority relating to
council tax.

(3) Information supplied under this paragraph may be used for another
prescribed purpose relating to council tax.

(4) 10Information supplied under this paragraph may be supplied to
another qualifying person for a prescribed purpose relating to
council tax (whether or not that is a purpose for which it was
supplied).

(5) In this paragraph—

  • 15“Revenue and Customs official”,

  • “the Revenue and Customs”, and

  • “function of the Revenue and Customs”,

have the same meaning as in section 18 of the Commissioners for
Revenue and Customs Act 2005.

15B (1) 20A Revenue and Customs official may supply information which is
held by the Revenue and Customs in connection with a function of
the Revenue and Customs to a qualifying person for prescribed
purposes relating to council tax.

(2) The following are qualifying persons for the purpose of this
25paragraph—

(a) a billing authority in Wales;

(b) a person authorised to exercise any function of such an
authority relating to council tax;

(c) a person providing services to such an authority relating to
30council tax.

(3) Information supplied under this paragraph may be used for another
prescribed purpose relating to council tax.

(4) Information supplied under this paragraph may be supplied to
another qualifying person for a prescribed purpose relating to
35council tax (whether or not that is a purpose for which it was
supplied).

(5) In this paragraph—

  • “Revenue and Customs official”, “the Revenue and Customs”
    and “function of the Revenue and Customs” have the same
    40meaning as in section 18 of the Commissioners for Revenue
    and Customs Act 2005;

  • “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the
    Welsh Ministers.

(6) Regulations under this paragraph must not be made except with the
45consent of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs.

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(7) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this paragraph
is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the National
Assembly for Wales.

15C (1) A Revenue and Customs official may supply information which is
5held by the Revenue and Customs in connection with a function of
the Revenue and Customs to a qualifying person for prescribed
purposes relating to council tax.

(2) The following are qualifying persons for the purpose of this
paragraph—

(a) 10a local authority;

(b) a person authorised to exercise any function of such an
authority relating to council tax;

(c) a person providing services to such an authority relating to
council tax.

(3) 15Information supplied under this paragraph may be used for another
prescribed purpose relating to council tax.

(4) Information supplied under this paragraph may be supplied to
another qualifying person for a prescribed purpose relating to
council tax (whether or not that is a purpose for which it was
20supplied).

(5) In this paragraph—

  • “Revenue and Customs official”, “the Revenue and Customs”
    and “function of the Revenue and Customs” have the same
    meaning as in section 18 of the Commissioners for Revenue
    25and Customs Act 2005;

  • “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the
    Scottish Ministers.

(6) Regulations under this paragraph must not be made except with the
consent of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and
30Customs.

(7) Regulations under this paragraph—

(a) are subject to the negative procedure; and

(b) may make—

(i) different provision for different purposes, including
35different provision for different areas or for different
authorities, and

(ii) such incidental, consequential, transitional or
supplementary provision as the Scottish Ministers
think necessary or expedient.

15D (1) 40A person to whom sub-paragraph (2) applies is guilty of an offence
if the person discloses without lawful authority any information—

(a) which comes to the person by virtue of paragraph 15A, 15B
or 15C, and

(b) which relates to a particular person.

(2) 45This sub-paragraph applies to—

(a) a qualifying person for the purpose of paragraph 15A, 15B or
15C;

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(b) a person who is or has been a director, member of the
committee of management, manager, secretary or other
similar officer of a person within paragraph (a);

(c) a person who is or has been an employee of such a person.

(3) 5A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 2 years or a fine, or both;

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory
10maximum, or both.

(4) It is not an offence under this paragraph—

(a) to disclose information in the form of a summary or collection
of information so framed as not to enable information
relating to any particular person to be identified from it;

(b) 15to disclose information which has previously been disclosed
to the public with lawful authority.

(5) It is a defence for a person (“D”) charged with an offence under this
paragraph to prove that at the time of the alleged offence—

(a) D believed that D was making the disclosure in question with
20lawful authority and had no reasonable cause to believe
otherwise, or

(b) D believed that the information in question had previously
been disclosed to the public with lawful authority and had no
reasonable cause to believe otherwise.

(6) 25For the purposes of this paragraph, “lawful authority” has the
meaning given by section 123 of the Social Security Administration
Act 1992.

(7) In relation to an offence under this paragraph committed in England
and Wales before the commencement of section 154(1) of the
30Criminal Justice Act 2003 (increase in maximum term that may be
imposed on summary conviction of offence triable either way) the
reference in sub-paragraph (3)(b) to 12 months is to be taken as a
reference to 6 months.

(3) In paragraph 11 (supply of information to authorities: England and Wales),
35after sub-paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) Information may be prescribed under sub-paragraph (1)(d) by
reference to—

(a) how the person concerned came to be in possession or control
of the information;

(b) 40the purpose for which it is requested by the authority.

(4) In paragraph 12 (supply of information to authorities: Scotland), after sub-
paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) Information may be prescribed under sub-paragraph (1)(d) by
reference to—

(a) 45how the person concerned came to be in possession or control
of the information;

(b) the purpose for which it is requested by the authority.

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(5) In paragraph 16 (supply of information by authorities), after sub-paragraph (2)
insert—

(3) Information may be prescribed under sub-paragraph (2)(c) by
reference to—

(a) 5how the first-mentioned authority obtained the information;

(b) the purpose for which the first-mentioned authority believes
that the information would be useful to the other authority.

(6) In Schedule 11 to the LGFA 1988, in paragraph 8(3)(ea) (regulations about
procedure before tribunals)—

(a) 10for sub-paragraph (iv) substitute—

(iv) paragraph 15A or 15B of Schedule 2 to the 1992 Act or
regulations under that Schedule;,

(b) omit the “or” following that sub-paragraph, and

(c) after “1996” insert “or of information supplied under section 131 of the
15Welfare Reform Act 2012 for purposes relating to council tax;”.

(7) This section comes into force at the end of the period of 2 months beginning
with the day on which this Act is passed.

16 Power for HMRC to supply information for purposes of rates in Northern
Ireland

(1) 20A Revenue and Customs official may supply information which is held by the
Revenue and Customs in connection with a function of the Revenue and
Customs to a qualifying person for prescribed purposes relating to rates.

(2) The following are qualifying persons—

(a) the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland (“DFP”);

(b) 25the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (“NIHE”);

(c) a person authorised to exercise any function of DFP or NIHE relating to
rates;

(d) a person providing services to DFP or NIHE relating to rates.

(3) Information supplied under this section may be used for another prescribed
30purpose relating to rates.

(4) Information supplied under this section may be supplied to another qualifying
person for a prescribed purpose relating to rates (whether or not that is a
purpose for which it was supplied).

(5) A person to whom subsection (6) applies is guilty of an offence if the person
35discloses without lawful authority any information—

(a) which comes to the person by virtue of this section, and

(b) which relates to a particular person.

(6) This subsection applies to—

(a) a qualifying person other than DFP;

(b) 40a person who is or has been a director, member of the committee of
management, manager, secretary or other similar officer of a qualifying
person;

(c) a person who is or has been an employee of a qualifying person.

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

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(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
2 years or a fine, or both;

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6
months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both.

(8) 5It is not an offence under this section—

(a) to disclose information in the form of a summary or collection of
information so framed as not to enable information relating to any
particular person to be identified from it;

(b) to disclose information which has previously been disclosed to the
10public with lawful authority.

(9) It is a defence for a person (“D”) charged with an offence under this section to
prove that at the time of the alleged offence—

(a) D believed that D was making the disclosure in question with lawful
authority and had no reasonable cause to believe otherwise, or

(b) 15D believed that the information in question had previously been
disclosed to the public with lawful authority and had no reasonable
cause to believe otherwise.

(10) For the purposes of this section, “lawful authority” has the meaning given by
section 117 of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992.

(11) 20In this section—

  • “Revenue and Customs official”, “the Revenue and Customs” and
    “function of the Revenue and Customs” have the same meaning as in
    section 18 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005;

  • “rates” has the same meaning as in the Rates (Northern Ireland) Order
    251977 (S.I. 1977/2157 (N.I. 28)S.I. 1977/2157 (N.I. 28));

  • “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by DFP.

(12) Regulations under this section must not be made except with the consent of the
Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

(13) The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable by statutory
30rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I.
1979/1573 (N.I. 12)).

(14) Regulations under this section are to be subject to negative resolution (within
the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954).

(15) This section comes into force at the end of the period of 2 months beginning
35with the day on which this Act is passed.

General

17 Interpretation

In this Act—

  • “financial year” means a period of 12 months beginning with 1 April;

  • 40“the LGFA 1988” means the Local Government Finance Act 1988;

  • “the LGFA 1992” means the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

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18 Power to make transitional, consequential etc provision

(1) The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument make such
transitory or transitional provision, or savings, as the Secretary of State
considers appropriate in connection with the coming into force of any
5provision of this Act.

(2) The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument make such
consequential provision (including provision amending, repealing or revoking
any legislation passed or made before, or in the same Session as, this Act) as the
Secretary of State considers appropriate in connection with any provision of
10this Act.

(3) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (2) that amends
or repeals any of the following may not be made unless a draft of the
instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House
of Parliament—

(a) 15an Act of Parliament;

(b) an Act of the Scottish Parliament;

(c) an Act or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales;

(d) Northern Ireland legislation as defined in section 24 of the
Interpretation Act 1978.

(4) 20Any other statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (2) is
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
Parliament.

(5) The powers under subsections (1) and (2) include power to make different
provision for different cases or descriptions of case, including different
25provision for different areas or different authorities.

19 Financial provisions

There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a) any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State in consequence of
this Act, and

(b) 30any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any
other Act out of money so provided.

20 Extent and short title

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales only, subject to subsections (2) and (3).

(2) Section 15 extends also to Scotland.

(3) 35Sections 16 and 18 extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern
Ireland.

(4) This Act may be cited as the Local Government Finance Act 2012.