The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) can issue a penalty notice to the owner or occupier of a property if they fail to give the VOA the information it requires to value properties for non-domestic rates.

You can make an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal against a penalty notice.  The Tribunal is independent of the VOA and the council.

The flow chart shows you the stages in making an appeal against a penalty notice and getting a Tribunal decision.  Click on any of the blue boxes to find out more.

Appeals against penalty notices image map

You can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days of receiving a business rates penalty notice.

You can do that here or you can download a form to complete offline by following this link. If you have received more than one notice you must appeal against each on a separate form.

In the case of a business rates penalty, you must appeal in writing within 28 days of receiving the notice, enclosing a copy of the notice.

 

The panel would be interested in knowing whether the person had the information that had been  requested and, if so, could show they had provided it in time, or whether the information provided was accurate.

You may want to continue talking to the VOA about the notice to see if you can reach a settlement with them. If you do reach an agreement, please let us know.

You could attend another hearing before yours to see what happens. Please contact us if you wish to do this.

Nearer the day, if we can, we will give you an idea of the time when your appeal might be heard.

You may decide not to carry on with your appeal at any time. If you do decide to withdraw your appeal, please let the VOA know.

You may –

• request a postponement if you have a good reason for not being able to attend on the day; or
• appoint a representative to present your case for you.

It is always better if you can come to the hearing so that you can answer any questions that the panel might have and so you can ask the other party questions. However, there are other options –

Appeal heard in absence procedure. This is when the appellant is not present at a hearing, but has submitted a written case to the Tribunal to be considered at a hearing where the other party will be present. The written evidence should be sent to the Tribunal and to all other parties 14 days in advance of the hearing date. For more information, please read Practice Statement B3 Appellant’s Non-Attendance.

Decision without hearing procedure. In these cases, the parties have agreed that neither of them will be present at a hearing, and the Valuation Tribunal has agreed that this procedure can be used. The Tribunal will direct the parties to submit a written statement of case to the Tribunal and all other parties by a specified date. For more information, please read Practice Statement A6, Decision without a Hearing.

The hearing is as informal as possible and we will try to put everyone at ease, but these are judicial proceedings and a degree of formality is inevitable.

The panel will follow a procedure set out in a Practice Statement (B1: Model Procedure).

The panel will decide who will put their case first, but if you would prefer to give your case first or second, please let us know.

During the hearing:

  • the panel will ask you and the VOA’s representative to present your cases
  • you will be able to ask questions of the VOA’s representative
  • the VOA’s representative will be able to ask you questions, and
  • the panel and the clerk can ask questions of you and the VOA’s representative.

Before the panel retires to make its decision, it will ask you if you would like to summarise your case (in other words, go over the main points of your case again).

The panel will make its decision based on the evidence and argument presented to it, bearing in mind what the law (legislation and case law) allows. The panel will retire at the end of the hearing to deliberate and will call the clerk in to provide legal advice and to help draft the reasons for the decision. However, the clerk takes no part in the making of the decision.

The Tribunal’s decision is not announced at the hearing.  We send you a decision notice, usually within one month of the hearing.

When we receive your appeal we send you a Notice of Acknowledgement and a guidance booklet

We set the date for your hearing and send you a Notice of Hearing

We may send you a Hearing Reminder Notice or we will contact you by phone/email

We send you a Notice of Decision and a guidance booklet

Relevant legislation

Local Government Finance Act 1988, gives the general law. Schedule 9 (as amended by section 72 of the Local Government Act 2003) applies to penalty notice appeals.

Rating (Valuation) Act 1999, explains what a rateable value is.

Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals) (Procedure) Regulations 2009  SI 2009 No 2269

Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2009  SI 2009 No 2268

These set out the rules under which we and the VOA’s valuation officer have to deal with any rating appeals.

Please remember that some parts of this legislation have changed and there may be further changes.  You will need to check that the legislation you use is up to date.  Larger public and law libraries hold copies of legislation.  You can also see legislation on the website www.legislation.gov.uk.

To appeal against a penalty notice, you must contact us within 28 days of receiving the notice from the Valuation Office Agency.

You must do this in writing and you must include a copy of the penalty notice with your appeal. You can complete and submit an appeal form from our website here, or you can download a form to complete offline by clicking here.  Or we can send you one if you contact us

We aim to list penalty appeals to a hearing date that is within 3 months of the date we received it.

There is no appeal against a decision on penalty notices.

If you think that the Valuation Tribunal acted outside its powers in making the decision, or that it did not act correctly at the hearing, you can apply to the High Court for a judicial review. You may wish to take legal advice first, as fees will be charged for making an appeal and costs can be awarded against the losing side.

The Administrative Court
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London WC2A 2LL
Phone: 020 7947 6000205
http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/rcj-rolls-building/administrative-court