You can appeal against the amount of council tax you have to pay and for any of the reasons below.

  • You are not the liable person. In other words, you do not think that you should pay the council tax.
  • Your property has been adapted to allow a disabled person to live there and you think it is eligible for a reduction.
  • You think that the council should give you a discount on the council tax you have to pay. For example, you may get a discount if the property is empty, if only one person lives there or if one or more of the people in your home should not be counted for special reasons.
  • You think your property is exempt from council tax (that is, council tax does not apply to it).

First you must write to your council explaining what the problem is. Click here to find your council’s website. You can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal about your council tax liability if:

  • the council does not agree with you, or
  • you are not happy with what the council does about the matter you raised, or
  • you don’t hear back from the council within 2 months.

The Valuation Tribunal is an independent body and is not connected with the council. The Tribunal will make a decision about your liability on the evidence that you and the council present to it.

The flow chart shows you the stages in making a council tax liability appeal and getting a Tribunal decision. Click on any of the blue boxes to find out more.

Appeals against council tax liability image map

You must first write to the council (billing authority) explaining what the problem is.  The council should reply within 2 months. If you are unhappy with their reply, or you do not hear from them within 4 months of writing, you can appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunal.

You can appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunal within 2 months of receiving their reply if you are still unhappy.

You must send us an appeal form within 2 months of receiving the council’s reply. You must appeal in writing and it is helpful if you enclose a copy of the council’s reply. You can complete and submit a form online here or download a form to complete offline by this link.  Or we can send you a form if you contact us.

If the council has not replied within 4 months of your letter to them you can still appeal to us.

You can find more information by looking at our

You can also see decisions from 2011 by searching our Decisions and Lists pages, here.

The Government website may also help you www.gov.uk

Please try to provide as much evidence as possible to support your case. You will be allowed to:

• give oral and written evidence;
• present anything that you believe will help your case, such as photographs or plans; and
• call witnesses.

It is best for everyone if there are no surprises at the hearing, otherwise your case may need to be adjourned to a later date. For this reason, with all notices of hearing we send out after 1 April 2017 there will be new standard directions. It is important that you read these and the guidance as they explain the exchange of evidence between you and the council.

 

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

At least six weeks before the hearing, the council should send you a copy of their case including their arguments and evidence.

At least four weeks before the hearing you should send to the council all the evidence you want the Tribunal to consider, including anything you want to say about the council’s evidence.

At least two weeks before the hearing the council will send their case and yours to the Tribunal and will send you a copy.

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 us know. You can use this form or email us.

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 VOA listing officer in line with the standard directions. This will be considered at a hearing where the other party will be present. But you must let the Tribunal know at least 24 hours before the hearing day.  For more information, please read the Practice Statement.

• The 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 the Practice Statement.

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 normally follow the model procedure set out in the Practice Statement.

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 council to present your cases;
• you will be able to ask the council questions;
• the council will be able to ask you questions; and
• the panel and the clerk can ask you and the council questions.

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 with directions.

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 1992 gives the general law.

Council Tax (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2009, Statutory Instrument 2009 No 2270

Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals) (Procedure) Regulations 2009, Statutory Instrument 2009 No 2269 as amended by SI 2013 No 465

Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals) (Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 Statutory Instrument 2013 No 465
These set out the rules under which we and the council have to deal with any council tax appeals. In addition there are regulations that deal with the different issues.
Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No 558 as amended
Council Tax (Liability of Owners) Regulations 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No 551 as amended
Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No 549 as amended
Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992, Statutory Instrument No 1992 548 as amended
Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings) (England) Regulations 2003 Statutory Instrument 2003 No 3011 as amended
Council Tax (Reductions for Disabilities) Regulations 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No 554 as amended
Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013 Statutory Instrument 2013 No 501

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 your council tax liability, you must first contact your local council (‘billing authority’) explaining what the problem is.

The council should send you a written reply within 2 months and, if they do not agree with you, you can then appeal to us. If you decide to appeal, you must contact us within 2 months of the council’s decision and include a copy of the council’s decision with your appeal form.

If the council does not write back to you within two months, you can still appeal to us, as long as not more than four months have passed since you wrote to the council in the first place.

The information you need to include in your appeal application is:

    • your full name and address
    • the address of the dwelling you are appealing about, if
      different from your address
    • the date you wrote to the council and the name of the council
    • the date the council replied to you, if they did
    • the issue and the reasons why you are appealing

You can either complete and submit a form online by clicking here, or download a form to complete offline by following this link.  Or we can send you an appeal form if you contact us.

We aim to list these appeals to a hearing date that is within 6 months of the date we receive all the information we need from you.

We aim to give you at least 8 weeks notice of the hearing date.

The guidance booklet we send you contains more information. You can also look at the following on our website –

The Government website may also help.

With any notice of hearing we send you after 1 April 2017 you will receive standard directions which you must follow. These explain the exchange of evidence that takes place between you and the VOA listing officer. Please read the directions and the guidance.