CHALLENGING COUNCIL TAX BAND: Valuation bands got based on the value of the property on:
• 1st of April 1991 (England and Scotland)
• 1st of April 2003 (Wales)
What should you do if you think your tax banding is wrong? You may be able to challenge your Council Tax band.
But, remember to continue paying your Council Tax while the challenge takes place.
Note: You can also choose to appoint another person to appeal tax banding on your behalf.
How to Challenge Council Tax Banding
- The first step is to check the Council Tax band of your property on the valuation list.
- On the ‘Council Tax band details’ section choose ‘Do you think this Council Tax band is wrong?’
- The next step is to select ‘Check if you can formally challenge your Council Tax band’.
- Answering all the questions on the checklist shows how likely your challenge is to succeed.
- The last step is to select ‘Make a formal challenge to your Council Tax band’.
Challenging Council Tax Banding by Post
If you prefer to challenge Council Tax banding by post you need to download an application.
Send the completed form to the Listing Officer at your regional Valuation Office Agency.
Note: Contact the Scottish Assessors Agency to check your Council Tax band first if you live in Scotland.
What If You Cannot Challenge Council Tax Band?
You should contact your regional VOA office if you cannot make a formal challenge. Ask the VOA to conduct an informal Council Tax band review.
Make sure you explain why you feel your Council Tax band is wrong. Try to show evidence of other local property types and age or size that have a lower band than yours. The VOA will inform you whether they need any further evidence from you.
Next Step in VOA Council Tax Appeal Process
The Valuation Office Agency will send you a decision within 2 months. The VOA will either:
- Change your Council Tax band: The council will revise your bill and adjust your payments.
- Inform you why the VOA cannot change your tax banding.
Disagreeing with VOA Decision
In England the first step is to make a formal challenge. You can then appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if you disagree with the VOA decision.
Note: Check the Valuation Tribunal Wales website and appeal to the Welsh Tribunal if you live in Wales.
The Valuation Tribunal works independent of the Valuation Office Agency. The service is free but you will have to pay your own costs.
You must make your appeal within 3 months of getting the VOA decision about your banding. In some cases you can get the time limit extended if you are unable to apply in time.
The VOA will change your Council Tax band and your council will update your bill if the tribunal agrees with you.
You can get further guidance and help from the Valuation Tribunal.
How to Appeal Against Council Tax Bill
You should inform your local council in writing without delay if you think:
- The property should not get charged Council Tax.
- The council sends the bills to the wrong person for your home.
- The amount getting charged is incorrect.
- The council has not reduced the bill even though a disabled person lives there.
Note: The reason for appeal cannot be because you think your Council Tax bill is too expensive.
But you can write to your council explaining why you think it is wrong.
The council will review your case within two (2) months and decide whether your bill is either:
- Correct and give you an explanation why.
- Incorrect and send you a new bill.
Note: You must continue paying amounts listed in your original bill until the new bill arrives.
Disagreeing with Council Decision
What happens if you think the council decision is still wrong or they fail to reply within 2 months? In this case you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.
You must make your appeal within:
- 2 months of the council informing you their decision.
- 4 months of your first written request to the council (if the council fail to reply).
The council will update your Council Tax band and adjust your monthly payments if the tribunal agrees with you.
Note: You may get the time limit extended if circumstances beyond your control delay your appeal.
Appeal Council Tax Fines or Completion Notice
You can also appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if you disagree with a completion notice that the council issued to you. In some cases you can use the same process to appeal a council fine.
Appealing a Council Tax Completion Notice
The council may send you a completion notice if:
- Your home is being constructed.
- You are making some major improvements to your home.
A completion notice informs you the date when you must start paying Council Tax. This date is when the council believes that building work got completed. You must make your appeal within 28 days of getting the council completion notice.
Appealing a Fine
You may get a fine for not informing your council about your Council Tax if they ask you. But you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if you disagree with the fine. You must make your appeal within 2 months of getting fined.
Note: You may get the time limit extended if you cannot apply to appeal a completion notice or fine in time.
When Should You Pay a Fine?
You should pay your fine after your appeal gets decided. But, you need to pay Council Tax from the date recorded on the completion notice.