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Never paid council tax!

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ResurrectResurrect Forumite
26 posts
10 Posts
Hi all, 

I am trying to help a friend who’s mum has recently died. When going through her paperwork, it looks like her mum has never ever paid council tax! She bought a new build house 34 years ago & there are no letters / bills in her files or payments in her bank statements. 

What is likely to happen do you think? I am wondering if the council will now pass a massive bill to my friend? If so will this be for the full 34 years? Will she be able to sell the house without dealing with this? 

Thanks 
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  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    Extremely unlikely, it must have been paid somehow.
    The council is unlikely to have just forgotten about it.
    Anything left in her estate ?
    If a bill is received, then legal advice may be necessary.
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  • ResurrectResurrect Forumite
    26 posts
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    Extremely unlikely, it must have been paid somehow. - doesn’t look like it has! 
    The council is unlikely to have just forgotten about it. - looks like  they have! 
    Anything left in her estate ? - the house, would need to sell to pay this debt. 
    If a bill is received, then legal advice may be necessary. - i think you’re right! 
    Thanks for your reply - answers above 
  • ceremonyceremony Forumite
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    In my area a lot of people pay council tax weekly, at a paypoint, using a payment card, so it's entirely possible that she was paying and just didn't keep the paperwork.
    Start Debt Jun 2020 = £10,036 - Current £8,593 | #324 £1,000 Emergency Fund Member - £89
  • ResurrectResurrect Forumite
    26 posts
    10 Posts
    So my friend has searched to get a Council tax valuation on the gov.uk website and the house isn’t listed. 

    She thinks it was never registered after being built & no bills have ever been paid. 
  • edited 29 June at 9:20AM
    sharpe106sharpe106 Forumite
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    edited 29 June at 9:20AM

    You will have to get in touch then with the council then and explain the situation. If it has not been registered you will not be able to sell it anyway. You are going to have to seek professional help to see what was done when the house was originally brought.


  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    That's a situation I didn't think was possible. If it's ever happened anywhere (and I'm not aware of it) then there will be cases to refer to.

    Council Tax Legislation is a specialist subject in it's own right - our expert poster on these boards is CIS
  • ResurrectResurrect Forumite
    26 posts
    10 Posts
    Very bizarre situation! 

    I’ve googled heavily & can’t see another case like this.

    My friend has been through all of her mum’s paperwork now which is meticulously filed & there’s no mention of anything council tax related.

    Would you call the council or a solicitor first? Can the council charge her for the whole time? Her mum would be liable as she lived there so a payment is due but will be a huge debt is they want 34 years back paid. 
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    I've sent CIS a pm
  • edited 29 June at 7:15PM
    CISCIS Forumite
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    edited 29 June at 7:15PM
    Resurrect said:
    So my friend has searched to get a Council tax valuation on the gov.uk website and the house isn’t listed. 

    She thinks it was never registered after being built & no bills have ever been paid. 
    The property should have been registered with the VOA or Scottish Assessors.

    Is the property in England , Scotland or Wales? (Got a case ongoing now on several properties back to 2005 but the situation here could be worse!).

    There's few of us about who specialise in council tax so information online isn't always the easiest to come across. My tip to you would to treat council tax like you would with any form of taxation issue and make sure it's dealt with properly (too many assume council tax is straightforward legislation and go badly wrong)


    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    It's possible - I've got a commercial property that has missed the system for 50 years. I'm waiting for a valuation.
    Don't be too precise with your search of the Council's records - the property or the street its in could have been misspelt.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
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