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  • FIRST POST
    • Adamc
    • By Adamc 13th Sep 18, 9:33 PM
    • 108Posts
    • 5Thanks
    Adamc
    Council Tax Exemption: Family Illness
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 18, 9:33 PM
    Council Tax Exemption: Family Illness 13th Sep 18 at 9:33 PM
    Hi all

    I bought my first house 2 months ago but have been unable to move in due to my dad's illness: he was hospitalised with sepsis for a month so I have stayed at his house as I've had no time to furnish or sort anything for the new house and it currently lies empty.

    After month he came home but was still very unstable. I had to help with his drains (liver abscess originating in bowel was the source of sepsis!) and to prepare food etc.

    Anyway - It's been 2 months and he's much more independent now. I hope to move into my house by the end of the month. I just wondered where I stand on getting a council tax discount? I have yet to start paying despite applying and making inquiries. I may have gone wrong by applying for an uninhabited discount where I stated both family illness and unfurnished state of house are the reasons for applying. Can anyone offer me any advice.
Page 1
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Sep 18, 10:23 PM
    • 10,795 Posts
    • 6,259 Thanks
    CIS
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 18, 10:23 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 18, 10:23 PM
    Council Tax discounts and exemptions are case of meeting statutory definitions, illness is not a factor for consideration in this case.


    A discount on the basis of the property being unoccupied and substantially unfurnished was the correct one to apply for but they are time limited in duration and do not always give any actual level of discount (i.e. they can be set a at a 0% discount). Only the council can tell you what discount would apply based on the circumstances of the property.
    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.
    • Adamc
    • By Adamc 14th Sep 18, 8:09 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Adamc
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:09 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:09 AM
    Council Tax discounts and exemptions are case of meeting statutory definitions, illness is not a factor for consideration in this case.


    A discount on the basis of the property being unoccupied and substantially unfurnished was the correct one to apply for but they are time limited in duration and do not always give any actual level of discount (i.e. they can be set a at a 0% discount). Only the council can tell you what discount would apply based on the circumstances of the property.
    Originally posted by CIS

    I read the following and thought the provision of care was taken into consideration?

    Home>Residents>Council tax>Council Tax Discounts and exemptions>Empty property discount

    If you have had to leave your property due to illness, or to provide care

    Residents that have moved to nursing or residential homes or long stay hospital wards may be exempt from paying Council Tax. This may also apply if you have moved away to receive care due to old age, disablement or illness, or to provide care for someone else.


    .www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/emptyproperty
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Sep 18, 1:51 PM
    • 11,175 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 1:51 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 1:51 PM
    As you never moved in, you cannot "move away". Those exemptions are for people who have moved out of their home leaving it empty and are usually not expected to return or to be absent for a considerable period of time.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Sep 18, 6:01 PM
    • 10,795 Posts
    • 6,259 Thanks
    CIS
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 18, 6:01 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 18, 6:01 PM
    As Lincroft has mentioned the exemptions require a person to have been resident before they can vacate the property for the purposes of claiming them.
    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.
    • andycov30
    • By andycov30 14th Sep 18, 8:11 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    andycov30
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:11 PM
    any suggestions ?
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:11 PM
    I have successfully received SMI exemption for my council tax and it was back dated to 2011 however they were deducting money from relevant benefits
    since 2009 and my diagnosis was the same then and previous to that .When I pointed this out to the council they replied saying 6 years was the limit of when they could back to per "case law" I have asked for the relevant case law but had no response.
    • andycov30
    • By andycov30 14th Sep 18, 8:15 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    andycov30
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:15 PM
    advice
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:15 PM
    I have successfully received SMI exemption for my council tax and it was back dated to 2011 however they were deducting money from relevant benefits
    since 2009 and my diagnosis was the same then and previous to that .When I pointed this out to the council they replied saying 6 years was the limit of when they could back to per "case law" I have asked for the relevant case law but had no response.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Sep 18, 8:49 PM
    • 10,795 Posts
    • 6,259 Thanks
    CIS
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:49 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:49 PM
    I have successfully received SMI exemption for my council tax and it was back dated to 2011 however they were deducting money from relevant benefits
    since 2009 and my diagnosis was the same then and previous to that .When I pointed this out to the council they replied saying 6 years was the limit of when they could back to per "case law" I have asked for the relevant case law but had no response.
    Originally posted by andycov30

    It is a perennial argument - most of the cases I deal with which head towards the tribunal are due to the council trying to restrict SMI backdating to 6 years. The 'case law' they quote is usually a wrongful application of Arca and they neglect to consider the various later cases which have been heard since Arca and have clarified the situation (Arca related only to a specific situation and not the general one that councils tend to try and apply it to)
    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.
    • Adamc
    • By Adamc 17th Sep 18, 10:58 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Adamc
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 18, 10:58 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 18, 10:58 PM
    As you never moved in, you cannot "move away". Those exemptions are for people who have moved out of their home leaving it empty and are usually not expected to return or to be absent for a considerable period of time.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    I see - but is it not taken into consideration that a loved one could fall ill before someone actually gets to move into a property they have newly acquired?

    It's the same situation: illness. It imposes the same demands on the care giver. It just seems like an backwards version of the "brand new customers only" caveat.

    Anyhow - I have no choice but to apply on the basis described earlier.
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 17th Sep 18, 11:23 PM
    • 1,832 Posts
    • 2,740 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    Any other adults in the house with Dad? If not check the council tax bandings / bills before you decide which way to go.


    For example if my home was band E council tax and I was renovating a band A house that was unoccupied, and I moved into the band A property I would then get a single occupant discount of 25% on the band A, leaving me a bill of about 75 a month. However as my wife would now be alone in the band E house and get a 25% discount of about 50 per month, so not as bad as you think when you have to pay on another property - depending on circumstances obviously.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 18th Sep 18, 8:45 AM
    • 10,795 Posts
    • 6,259 Thanks
    CIS
    I see - but is it not taken into consideration that a loved one could fall ill before someone actually gets to move into a property they have newly acquired?

    It's the same situation: illness. It imposes the same demands on the care giver. It just seems like an backwards version of the "brand new customers only" caveat.

    Anyhow - I have no choice but to apply on the basis described earlier.
    Originally posted by Adamc


    Legislation is quite clear on the eligibility criteria (as a point - the Class J exemption specifically states that the property must have be "an unoccupied dwelling which was previously the sole or main residence" (my emphasis etc). It takes no account of the circumstance you have mentioned.



    The council have no ability to override legislation as it's not a delegated power.
    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.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 18th Sep 18, 8:48 AM
    • 10,795 Posts
    • 6,259 Thanks
    CIS
    Any other adults in the house with Dad? If not check the council tax bandings / bills before you decide which way to go.


    For example if my home was band E council tax and I was renovating a band A house that was unoccupied, and I moved into the band A property I would then get a single occupant discount of 25% on the band A, leaving me a bill of about 75 a month. However as my wife would now be alone in the band E house and get a 25% discount of about 50 per month, so not as bad as you think when you have to pay on another property - depending on circumstances obviously.
    Originally posted by Mr.Generous

    Trying to split residence like that to get a 25% discount is likely to draw attention from the council and in the majority of cases they would reject it on the basis that the 'sole or main residence' has not changed for council tax purposes. These situations are the sort that easily end up at a tribunal.
    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.
    • andycov30
    • By andycov30 15th Oct 18, 11:55 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    andycov30
    Council still avoiding back dating
    I have been in further contact with the council and trying to have them back date my claim for SMI exemption further than 6 years.Having initially used the excuse stating case law says they don't back date further than 6 years , now they are using the excuse of the "limitation act " specifically
    "S. 9 Limitation Act 1980 applies once a taxpayer/ratepayer has become entitled to a refund and limits the recoverability through the county court or High Court to six years from that date." To me it seems that whilst they accept your illness is sever enough to be granted exemption the council are prepared to take advantage of people with severe disabilities and cause them issues and to fight for something which should be a justified right even though they have validated they have a severe disability
    Last edited by andycov30; 15-10-2018 at 11:58 AM. Reason: original post wrongly written
    • CIS
    • By CIS 15th Oct 18, 12:30 PM
    • 10,795 Posts
    • 6,259 Thanks
    CIS
    I have been in further contact with the council and trying to have them back date my claim for SMI exemption further than 6 years.Having initially used the excuse stating case law says they don't back date further than 6 years , now they are using the excuse of the "limitation act " specifically
    "S. 9 Limitation Act 1980 applies once a taxpayer/ratepayer has become entitled to a refund and limits the recoverability through the county court or High Court to six years from that date." To me it seems that whilst they accept your illness is sever enough to be granted exemption the council are prepared to take advantage of people with severe disabilities and cause them issues and to fight for something which should be a justified right even though they have validated they have a severe disability
    Originally posted by andycov30

    Bliddy Limitation Act - I've drafted three tribunal submission in the last 6 month on the same issue to argue it's applicability. In most cases the council's are relying on an old valuation tribunal case (Arca) which has since been superseded as the Tribunal President, who heard all of the cases involved in the issued, later clarified that the he wrongly interpreted the Limitation Act in Arca and he gave a revised interpretation.
    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.
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