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  • FIRST POST
    • noisytwit
    • By noisytwit 10th Aug 18, 1:14 PM
    • 1Posts
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    noisytwit
    Council Tax Appeal
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:14 PM
    Council Tax Appeal 10th Aug 18 at 1:14 PM
    Apologies if this is not the correct place for posting this.


    Back in Jan I completed and moved into a new build property. Initially it was not banded for council tax by the valuation office.


    In May we received our first initial bill from the council, stating that the house was banded D and breaking down the annual bill. We setup a direct debit and (including the four months which we hadnt paid) commenced payment of the monthly amount.


    Fast forward to the end of July and we get a letter from the valuation office saying they had amended the banding up a band to E, this was a shock as we had been told by the council it has been set at D. I looked into the increase and after researching it, we fall right into the middle of band E, I am not contesting the banding increase to E, and its pretty much what we expected it to be from before we bought the house. This was rapidly followed up by the council sending a new bill for the new Band E.


    The new bill stated that they were applying the new band back to the day we completed, which essentially is six months of outstanding payments of the difference from D to E which they were adding to our monthly bill from the beginning of August.


    I immediately appealed the addition of the outstanding six months with the council by email. They responded saying that there are no grounds for appeal under the circumstances as "your original bill from us states the band D was a temporary banding and could be subject to change". The only thing is, the original bill at no point stated that was the case in any way shape or form. I have since scanned and returned a copy of our original bill to them as evidence.


    The above brings us up to today. I have no problem with the house being band E, but I do have a problem with them demanding six months of outstanding bills with no grounds to appeal.
    The purpose of this post is to establish if I have grounds to refuse payment of the original bills difference between D and E bands? The language used by the council is suggesting they are not going to allow an appeal and I have to essentially suck up the difference and pay them.



    Has anyone any suggestion as to what my next step is? Is there an ombudsman that could assist me for example?



    Thanks
Page 1
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 10th Aug 18, 1:23 PM
    • 5,598 Posts
    • 33,115 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:23 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:23 PM
    Apologies if this is not the correct place for posting this.


    Back in Jan I completed and moved into a new build property. Initially it was not banded for council tax by the valuation office.


    In May we received our first initial bill from the council, stating that the house was banded D and breaking down the annual bill. We setup a direct debit and (including the four months which we hadnt paid) commenced payment of the monthly amount.


    Fast forward to the end of July and we get a letter from the valuation office saying they had amended the banding up a band to E, this was a shock as we had been told by the council it has been set at D. I looked into the increase and after researching it, we fall right into the middle of band E, I am not contesting the banding increase to E, and its pretty much what we expected it to be from before we bought the house. This was rapidly followed up by the council sending a new bill for the new Band E.


    The new bill stated that they were applying the new band back to the day we completed, which essentially is six months of outstanding payments of the difference from D to E which they were adding to our monthly bill from the beginning of August.


    I immediately appealed the addition of the outstanding six months with the council by email. They responded saying that there are no grounds for appeal under the circumstances as "your original bill from us states the band D was a temporary banding and could be subject to change". The only thing is, the original bill at no point stated that was the case in any way shape or form. I have since scanned and returned a copy of our original bill to them as evidence.


    The above brings us up to today. I have no problem with the house being band E, but I do have a problem with them demanding six months of outstanding bills with no grounds to appeal.
    The purpose of this post is to establish if I have grounds to refuse payment of the original bills difference between D and E bands? The language used by the council is suggesting they are not going to allow an appeal and I have to essentially suck up the difference and pay them.



    Has anyone any suggestion as to what my next step is? Is there an ombudsman that could assist me for example?



    Thanks
    Originally posted by noisytwit
    Your provisionally banding was D, and your banding came through as E. They are back dating this, in the same way as they would had refunded you of your banding was reduced.


    You can check the banding and appeal though VOA here
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency
    Check similar properties on your estate, but be careful as they also may be temporary bandings. Check a tad further away as well. Though remember if you do appeal, your banding can also increase!
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
    Defibrillators Cannot Cure a Heart Attack!
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 10th Aug 18, 1:26 PM
    • 61,280 Posts
    • 54,514 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:26 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:26 PM
    You expected the tax banding to be E for the property. Why should you be allowed not to pay the full amount since occupation of the property. If the council hadn't of issued an interim bill. Then your payments for the current year would have been very much higher.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 10th Aug 18, 1:33 PM
    • 547 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    buggy_boy
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:33 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:33 PM
    Surely its not a massive difference for 6 months? I paid Band D for 9yrs, even appealed council rate as exactly the same house but end of terrace instead of semi was Band C, they rejected, after I rented the house out the tenants appealed the Band and they changed it to Band C. Got 9yrs of excess council tax back so not surprised when it goes the other way they would claim at least 6 months, especially as it was an initial estimated banding...

    I wonder who sets the estimated banding? Maybe the builders, I guess it would be in their interest to say its lower to make buyers think council tax will be less.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 10th Aug 18, 2:08 PM
    • 10,840 Posts
    • 6,287 Thanks
    CIS
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:08 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:08 PM
    The above brings us up to today. I have no problem with the house being band E, but I do have a problem with them demanding six months of outstanding bills with no grounds to appeal.
    The purpose of this post is to establish if I have grounds to refuse payment of the original bills difference between D and E bands? The language used by the council is suggesting they are not going to allow an appeal and I have to essentially suck up the difference and pay them.

    What I suspect has likely happened...

    Until the valuation office officially set the banding then no council tax was legally due so, technically you have never paid the wrong amount of council tax. The council guessed at a band and used that so they could open a temporary account whilst waiting for the valuation office to band it. This action has no standing in council tax legislation and causes a lot of issues so most councils will not now open temporary accounts and instead wait for the official banding to come through.

    You have no real grounds for disputing it with the council under council tax legislation - you could try and take it to a valuation tribunal, the council have no grounds for stopping you, but there's nothing the tribunal can say regarding the issue other than they are not concerned with procedures outside of the legislative structure of council tax and I'd expect the appeal to be dismissed. To really dispute it would take an appeal to the High Court but, again, there's not much they can do.

    The LGO may be interested but only on a council procedural point of view.
    Last edited by CIS; 10-08-2018 at 2:13 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax paralegal assisting Council Tax payers. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Aug 18, 2:24 PM
    • 11,249 Posts
    • 9,620 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:24 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:24 PM
    Your house never was a Band D. If you look at its banding history on the VOA website you will no doubt find that it has always been a Band E from your completion date. The council are correct in charging the Band E amount from this date and thus you have no valid reason to dispute this.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 10th Aug 18, 2:27 PM
    • 1,585 Posts
    • 2,548 Thanks
    parkrunner
    • #7
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:27 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:27 PM
    Seems perfectly fair to me.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Aug 18, 2:32 PM
    • 11,249 Posts
    • 9,620 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:32 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:32 PM


    You can check the banding and appeal though VOA here
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency
    Check similar properties on your estate, but be careful as they also may be temporary bandings.
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth
    There is no provision in CT legislation for "temporary bandings" and thus any CT band appearing in the Valuation List will be the actual band.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 10th Aug 18, 2:49 PM
    • 6,896 Posts
    • 15,037 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #9
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:49 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:49 PM
    Many councils set up new builds as a band D as it is a 'middle of the road' band, which means people do not build up too much of an over payment or an underpayment, as both could potentially cause issues.

    However you can request it to be anything you'd like. We had a case where someone was convinced it would be a C so asked to be billed as a C until the VOA visited. When it came back that it was in fact going to be a D they were most unhappy!

    Your property is an E, has always been an E since it was built and therefore you need to pay Band E from the beginning.
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