The billing authority (local council) may issue a penalty notice if they request some information from you in connection with your liability for council tax, and you do not supply it. The penalty notice may just be part of your council tax demand notice.

You may appeal to the Valuation Tribunal against this notice. The Tribunal is completely independent of the Valuation Office Agency and the council.

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

Appeals against council tax penalty notices image map

You can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal within 2 months of receiving a council tax 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.

You must appeal in writing within 2 months 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 council 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 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 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 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

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 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

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.

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, you must contact us within 2 months of receiving the notice. You must do this in writing and you must include a copy of the notice with your appeal. You can complete and submit an appeal form online here or download a form to complete offline by following this link. Or we can send you one if you contact us.

If the council has fined you more than once, you must make a separate appeal for each fine.

The Valuation Tribunal will need to hear that you either do not have this information or that it was provided as requested. You should bring along some proof of posting if you contend that you have supplied the information.

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

Normally we will give you at least 6 weeks notice of the hearing date.