Never paid council tax!

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  • edited 13 July 2020 at 2:23PM
    CISCIS Forumite
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    edited 13 July 2020 at 2:23PM
    RAS said:
    thanks, when they write, please come back here and speak to CIS before she pays anything.

    I agree with this, as this may even fall within the limitation act, after six years simple contract debts become statute barred, council tax is a simple contract debt, you should definitely get advice before proceeding with this.
    In quick terms, the Limitation Act won't save them in this matter.

    As far as the Valuation Tribunal are concerned (see the range of decisions by then President, Prof. Zellick QC) any 6 year restriction under the Limitation Act 1980 applies only from the date of the 'cause of action' - the 'cause of action', in this case, being when the bill is issued. So the council would have 6 years from the date of the 'cause of action' to issue the demand notice. The Limitation Act itself doesn't restrict how far things can be backdated providing the demand notice itself is issued with the 6 year period from the 'cause of action'. It is effectively a limit on how long you have to claim money once you legally can (i.e. only once it's banded) rather than how far back you can do - it makes sense if you consider it from this side, the money cannot be due until the council can legally issue a demand notice.

    Although it's not been entirely tested in the higher courts the decisions to date do support the stance that the Valuation Tribunal have taken.

    The Limitation Act limit on the 'cause of action' should not be confused with the 6 years for applying for a liability order - which as it sets it's own statutory limit, isn't subject to the Limitation Act's limit (as confirmed by the higher courts). In the case of obtaining a liability order there is a 6 year limit backed in to legislation but this is simply 6 years from when the demand notice is issued.
    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.
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    I assumed the cause of action would be when the bill was issued, thanks for the clarification.
    It will be interesting to see where they think fault lies in all of this.
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  • CISCIS Forumite
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    I assumed the cause of action would be when the bill was issued, thanks for the clarification.
    In most cases it should be pretty close - there shouldn't be much gap between banding and a bill being issued (unless something has gone massively wrong).
    It will certainly be interesting to find out what happens.
    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.
  • ResurrectResurrect Forumite
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    Hi all, 
    Sorry for not updating but there hasn’t been anything to report until now.

    The Valuation Office Agency has now added the property as a new entry at the estimated market value 34 years ago, and have given it a council tax band. 

    Any thoughts on what might happen now? 
  • edited 11 October 2020 at 12:52PM
    CISCIS Forumite
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    edited 11 October 2020 at 12:52PM
    Resurrect said:
    Hi all, 
    Sorry for not updating but there hasn’t been anything to report until now.

    The Valuation Office Agency has now added the property as a new entry at the estimated market value 34 years ago, and have given it a council tax band. 

    Any thoughts on what might happen now? 
    The council will not chase the council tax charge for however far the VOA backdate it. The estate will be liable for the charge however in these, and I say this as it's my day job, you have to be very careful to ensure that the charge is correct otherwise the additional costs can sharp add up.
    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.
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    CIS said:
    The council will not chase the council tax charge for however far the VOA backdate it. The estate will be liable for the charge however in these, and I say this as it's my day job, you have to be very careful to ensure that the charge is correct otherwise the additional costs can sharp add up.
    Do you mean the council will NOW chase the tax?
  • poppasmurf_bewdleypoppasmurf_bewdley Forumite
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    An interesting thread.  It does make one wonder how many properties do actually escape being registered by the authorities.

    In the 1980's I was working in an office which had been built onto the rear of a large property but received all its power and water through the larger building.  We were a completely autonomous company but affiliated to the one in the large building. When central heating was being installed throughout, even to our office, a council surveyor came around and told us they never even knew our office was there. This was despite it being visible from the road and we advertised our business weekly throughout the area.  
    "There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O S Nock
  • ResurrectResurrect Forumite
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    Her plan is to get her account set up to pay her council tax from the date of death ongoing, and see if they bill her for before the death. 

    What are your thoughts on this? Should she seek legal advice now or at the point a bill is mentioned by the council? 
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    Is the property unfurnished and unoccupied now? 

    The class F exemption would still apply: When a property had been occupied by a single person, who either owned or rented the property and that person dies, the property is exempt from Council Tax payment for as long as it remains unoccupied, and until probate is granted.
  • ResurrectResurrect Forumite
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    Furnished & now occupied by my friend. 
    She was renting elsewhere & moved in after her mum died. She is trying to pay for her time there now since moving in. 

    There will be time when her mum lived there alone which she will tell them at the point a bill comes for the years her mum should’ve paid. 
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