You may be paying too much Council Tax if the banding is wrong for your property. You can use the postcode to check your band on the Council Tax valuation list.
This guide explains the process of challenging your Council Tax band, what evidence you need to support it, and what happens after making a successful challenge.
The formula that local councils use to assess Council Tax bands is based on domestic property values as of:
But, you can challenge your Council Tax band if it is wrong and you have paid Council Tax on your property for less than six (6) months.
The rules change if you paid Council Tax on your property for more than six (6) months. In this case, a challenge can only be made in specific circumstances, such as if:
You must contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) before you start the process of challenging your Council Tax band.
The first step is explaining to the VOA why you believe there is an error in your banding. Even so, having some evidence to support a claim means they may review it and change the band without you having to challenge it.
Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
Email: [email protected]
Telephone (England): 03000 501 501
Telephone (Wales): 03000 505 505
Monday to Friday: 9:30am to 2:30pm
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Note: It is quicker to send an email to the VOA during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic because they are operating a reduced telephone service.
After the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has completed a review of your band, you can make a formal challenge if you do not agree with their decision.
Follow these six steps:
Note: You should use the Scottish Assessors Association website to check your Council Tax band in Scotland.
If you live in England or Wales, you will need to send the VOA some evidence that supports your challenge about your Council Tax band being wrong.
As a rule, the type of evidence that you can send to the Valuation Office Agency is the addresses of several other properties that have a lower Council Tax band than yours.
But, the other properties must be the same as yours in things like:
The properties must also be located in (either):
If you are using evidence from house prices, (e.g. the price that yours or similar properties sold for), the sales must have taken place between:
Note: You can find out how much a property sold for in England or Wales from 1995 onwards (e.g. search sold property prices online).
You can then compare the sale prices to the valuations. The table shows Council Tax band Properties in England and how they were valued in April 1991 (and in April 2003 in Wales in brackets).
If you establish that the property sale prices differ from the Council Tax bands that the properties are actually in, you should send the information to the VOA, including the:
Important: The VOA will not accept general website data about average house prices (e.g. from the Nationwide House Price Index, Rightmove, Zoopla).
The Valuation Office Agency will send you their decision within four (4) months after you make a challenge. The outcome will be (either):
If you made your formal challenge in England, and dispute the VOA's decision, you can make an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. Use the forms on the Valuation Tribunal Service website (or Valuation Tribunal for Wales).
Even though the Valuation Tribunal works 'independently' of the VOA, it is a free service. But, you would need to pay for your own costs. They can provide further guidance on what steps you need to take for the hearing and how to prepare for it.
Valuation Tribunal Service
Telephone: 0300 123 2035
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The appeal must take place within three (3) months of receiving the decision from the VOA. Use the application for an extension of the time limit for making an appeal if yours is late.
Note: If you get an agreement from the tribunal, the VOA will change your banding and the local council will go ahead and update your bill. You can also contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for help with your property's Council Tax band or the rateable value of properties (e.g. if you are paying business rates).
Challenging Your Council Tax Band in United Kingdom