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  • FIRST POST
    • pkrbkc
    • By pkrbkc 27th Jan 17, 11:52 PM
    • 5Posts
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    pkrbkc
    Reclaiming single person discount
    • #1
    • 27th Jan 17, 11:52 PM
    Reclaiming single person discount 27th Jan 17 at 11:52 PM
    Hi there folks,

    So I discovered this evening that since I moved into my flat In July 2015 I haven't been claiming the single person discount. I meet all the criteria and I've claimed it in other places so I have no idea why it didn't dawn on me to do it.

    Basically I want to know if (in general as I know it varies) a council would refund in these circumstances or if they typically say I need to prove that I told them. I don't have any record and can't remember if I told them or it was my agent. Either way it was my responsibility per my contract.

    The really frustrating thing is i ran into arrears on my 2015/16 council tax and was working with them for a couple of months on a payment and all through that they knew I was the only person living there.

    My council is Royal Borough K & C and basically I wonder what your thoughts are on a battle with them to back date it. Thanks guys
Page 1
    • Nasqueron
    • By Nasqueron 28th Jan 17, 9:24 AM
    • 7,197 Posts
    • 4,539 Thanks
    Nasqueron
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 17, 9:24 AM
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 17, 9:24 AM
    Just write and ask them to change this and ask if they will back date it, they may say yes or no. I doubt the arrears team would pass on information to another department just because you might have mentioned in passing
    • Barny1979
    • By Barny1979 28th Jan 17, 10:07 AM
    • 4,782 Posts
    • 48,272 Thanks
    Barny1979
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 17, 10:07 AM
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 17, 10:07 AM
    I thought authorities automatically gave the discount based on the number of people living at a property as you need to confirm that you are still eligible for the discount from time to time?
    2013 - 313 AFDs, 2014 - 289 AFDs, 2015 - 321 AFDs, 2016 - 276 AFDs, 2017 - 276 AFDs, 2018 - 240 AFDs
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    • CIS
    • By CIS 28th Jan 17, 10:10 AM
    • 11,078 Posts
    • 6,448 Thanks
    CIS
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 17, 10:10 AM
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 17, 10:10 AM
    Two issues here:

    1) There's no limit in council tax legislation for backdating of discounts - some council's will try and use the Limitation Act but that only applies where you need to go back over 6 years, which isn't the case here.

    2) If the council were aware you were the sole occupier you do have a potential argument with them for not having applied the discount earlier. In the Valuation Tribunal cases of 'H Singh' it was held that Local Authorities must act on information they are aware of when in order to grant discounts and that backdating is not restricted in these case.

    All councils are supposed to be applying legislation the same way, they don't have delegated powers to do otherwise regarding a single person discount.

    Craig
    Last edited by CIS; 28-01-2017 at 10:32 AM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed 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.
    • pkrbkc
    • By pkrbkc 29th Jan 17, 12:32 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    pkrbkc
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 17, 12:32 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 17, 12:32 PM
    Thanks very much Craig. Very helpful and your guidance is useful. I'll come back with an update when I have one.

    Two issues here:

    1) There's no limit in council tax legislation for backdating of discounts - some council's will try and use the Act [/]but that only applies where you need to go back over 6 years, which isn't the case here.

    2) If the council were aware you were the sole occupier you do have a potential argument with them for not having applied the discount earlier. In the Valuation Tribunal cases of 'H Singh' it was held that Local Authorities must act on information they are aware of when in order to grant discounts and that backdating is not restricted in these case.

    All councils are supposed to be applying legislation the same way, they don't have delegated powers to do otherwise regarding a single person discount.

    Craig
    Originally posted by CIS
    • pkrbkc
    • By pkrbkc 1st Feb 17, 3:53 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    pkrbkc
    • #6
    • 1st Feb 17, 3:53 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Feb 17, 3:53 PM
    An update on this. RBKC had no problem giving me the refund for the 2016/17 tax year. I've already received the credit on my account. However for the 2015/16 tax year they are asking me to sign a statement of declaration and have a solicitor witness it. I'm out of work currently so I don't really want to pay a notary although I need to look to see if there are cheap notaries. I was thinking of pushing back and saying they knew it was only me in the flat when I had arrears last year.
    • jimbo778
    • By jimbo778 1st Apr 19, 11:11 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jimbo778
    • #7
    • 1st Apr 19, 11:11 AM
    Backdated single person council tax refund
    • #7
    • 1st Apr 19, 11:11 AM
    My sister separated from her husband (and has subsequently divorced) and he has lived in a separate property many years ago. However, his name remained on the council tax bill along with hers. However, she was the sole occupier with their children and he was separately paying council tax on his property where he lived. As both properties are within the same council area, would this count as sufficient evidence that the council should have been aware and she could reclaim the 25% discount for those years. As a single mother it would mean a great deal to her and is thousands of pounds. It is Milton Keynes council and I have searched their site to see if anything explicitly denies this such as a time limitation, but could not locate anything.
    She actually contacted the council last year about it, but was told as she had an ISA she was restricted by the capital limitation. However, I think the council representative was confused between a single occupier discount and a council tax reduction as a low earner when they responded.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 1st Apr 19, 1:07 PM
    • 11,757 Posts
    • 10,186 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 1st Apr 19, 1:07 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Apr 19, 1:07 PM
    Single person discount can be backdated, but there is probably a limit on how far back your sister could claim. Obviously if any of the children is/was over 18 and not in full time education, she could not claim for that period of time.
    • manysaver
    • By manysaver 15th Apr 19, 2:18 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    manysaver
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 19, 2:18 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 19, 2:18 PM
    I am married though have just filed for divorce.

    I was in Indonesia for January - December 2018, and also for substantial portions of years 2016 and 2017.

    I am currently in the UK and am leaving on Sunday.

    I have paid full council tax for the past years though I haven't been in the UK most of the time.

    I have a permanent address in Indonesia, and have a legal residence permit there (since September 2017 - previously I had a social visa)..

    I spoke to the council on the phone and they said that I might not be eligible because I have been returning to the UK as my residence with my wife.

    Question is, if my wife files online for a single person discount starting from Monday, then that seems straightforward, however what should I do about the backdating? Just send them an email saying the dates of my absences, and ask for a refund?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 15th Apr 19, 2:54 PM
    • 11,078 Posts
    • 6,448 Thanks
    CIS
    I am married though have just filed for divorce.

    I was in Indonesia for January - December 2018, and also for substantial portions of years 2016 and 2017.

    I am currently in the UK and am leaving on Sunday.

    I have paid full council tax for the past years though I haven't been in the UK most of the time.

    I have a permanent address in Indonesia, and have a legal residence permit there (since September 2017 - previously I had a social visa)..

    I spoke to the council on the phone and they said that I might not be eligible because I have been returning to the UK as my residence with my wife.

    Question is, if my wife files online for a single person discount starting from Monday, then that seems straightforward, however what should I do about the backdating? Just send them an email saying the dates of my absences, and ask for a refund?
    Originally posted by manysaver

    Going forward is fine - back-over there's very little chance of it being awarded as the property would appear to have remained your 'sole or main residence' for council tax purposes.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed 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.
    • manysaver
    • By manysaver 15th Apr 19, 4:21 PM
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    • 0 Thanks
    manysaver
    Thanks.

    I see that this is partly a matter of persuasion, and the my 'main residence' could change over time.

    At any rate it seems at least arguable that at some point my 'main residence' changed to Indonesia, e.g when I received permanent as opposed to temporary (annual) residence.

    Clearly when I left the UK on previous occasions there would have been some question of what my intentions were, as at certain points I was obviously intending coming back whereas at some time obviously my intentions did change.

    I am not really sure how the circumstances would be regarded, as in 2018 I did obviously come back albeit that since coming back I have effectively been living as a guest in my own house, but it does look like it could be difficult to argue.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 15th Apr 19, 4:34 PM
    • 11,078 Posts
    • 6,448 Thanks
    CIS
    Thanks.

    I see that this is partly a matter of persuasion, and the my 'main residence' could change over time.

    At any rate it seems at least arguable that at some point my 'main residence' changed to Indonesia, e.g when I received permanent as opposed to temporary (annual) residence.

    Clearly when I left the UK on previous occasions there would have been some question of what my intentions were, as at certain points I was obviously intending coming back whereas at some time obviously my intentions did change.

    I am not really sure how the circumstances would be regarded, as in 2018 I did obviously come back albeit that since coming back I have effectively been living as a guest in my own house, but it does look like it could be difficult to argue.
    Originally posted by manysaver

    The permanent residence which you have now mentioned may help swing it but it depends on the timing of various things (such as when you decided that you weren't planning to return to it as your residence etc etc).

    I've argued plenty of points like this with councils - some you win and some you don't but I'd be very surprised on this one if was granted without a valuation tribunal.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed 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.
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