Council Tax appeals and feedback

The options below explain how you can challenge your council tax band. You can do this if

  • you still disagree with the Valuation Office Agency’s decision
  • you wish to challenge your council tax bill

For example, if we haven’t applied a discount or exemption which you feel you are entitled.

We also aim to provide our customers with good services, but sometimes things go wrong. When this happens, we want you to tell us so that we can put these things right.

Council tax valuations and bands are based on how much a property was worth on the 1 April 1991. If your property was built more recently, it will be valued on the basis of what it would have been worth on that date.

We don’t decide which council tax band your home is in. That’s done by a government agency.

These are the circumstances where you can formally challenge your council tax band

You might be able to challenge your council tax band if you have evidence that suggests that the band is wrong. However, before formally submitting a challenge, you should contact the Valuation Office Agency. You should  explain why you think your band is wrong. You must be able to provide evidence.

The Valuation Office Agency is able to review and change your band without you needing to challenge it.

If the Valuation Office Agency has reviewed your band and you do not agree with their decision, you can still submit a formal ‘challenge’ to your band. If you wish to do so, you should submit your challenge within six months of moving into your property.

Change of a Council Tax band following the sale of a property

To submit a formal challenge, or appeal your Council Tax band, you will need to:

  • Find your property’s council tax band on the valuation list
  • From ‘council tax band details’ choose ‘Do you think this council tax band is wrong?’
  • From ‘If you think your council tax band is wrong’ choose ‘Check if you can formally challenge your council tax band’.
  • Answer the questions on the checklist to find out if you can make a challenge.
  • Select ‘Make a formal challenge to your council tax band’ to fill in the challenge form.
  • Provide evidence that supports your challenge in the ‘Formal challenge details’ section.

You will get a decision within four months. If you disagree with the Valuation Office Agency’s decision, you can submit an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. If you decide to do this, you must submit your appeal within three months of the decision by the Valuation Office Agency.

You must continue paying your council tax while the challenge is happening.

Information on how to submit an appeal is available on the Valuation Tribunal website

If you moved into your home more than six months ago and think that it is wrongly banded, you can still contact the Valuation Office Agency. They may be able to carry out an informal ‘review’ if you have the necessary evidence.

If you do decide to challenge your council tax band, there is a possibility that the property was previously valued less than it should be. This means it could be placed in a higher council tax band as a consequence. Please bear this in mind before submitting a review.

You can contact the Valuation Office Agency by phone on 03000 501 501.

You should tell us straight away if you think that:

  • Your home shouldn’t be charged council tax
  • The bills are being sent to the wrong person
  • We have not reduced the bill even though a disabled person lives there
  • If we have not applied a discount or exemption, to which you feel you are entitled.

You can view a list of all the discounts and exemptions available. Please see our ‘Get Money off Your Council Tax Bill’ pages. There you can also make an online application.

Do you wish to appeal against your Council Tax liability? Please submit your enquiry to us in the first instance, saying why you think it is wrong. We can  review your account and see if we can resolve any issues. If we are unable to change your liability, we will provide you with a full and clear explanation of our decision.

Whilst we are considering your appeal, you must continue to pay your original bill. This is until a decision has been made. We will send our decision within two months of your first stage appeal. If you don’t hear back from us within two months, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

You will receive our decision to your first stage appeal within two months. Once you’ve received this, if you still disagree, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

The Valuation Tribunal is independent of the council. You do not have to pay to submit an appeal, but you will have to pay for your own costs. You must appeal in writing within:

  • two months of the council telling you its decision, or
  • four months of you first writing to the council (if you haven’t had a response)

If the tribunal agrees with you, the council will update your liability and send you a new bill. Any over-payments that may have been made will be reflected in your new bill. You may also be entitled to a refund, for example if the Valuation Tribunal finds that your property should have been exempt from council tax.

We aim to provide our customers with good services, but sometimes things go wrong. When this happens, we want you to tell us so that we can put these things right.

Cornwall Council has a two-stage complaints feedback process. We should respond to either your Stage 1 or Stage 2 Council Tax complaint within 12 weeks. If we haven't you can complain to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO).

You should ensure that any complaint to the LGSCO is made within a year of you knowing about the problem. Your complaint should specify how the issue affected you personally or caused an injustice.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
53 – 55 Butts Road
Coventry CV1 3BH

Tel: 0300 061 0614

Our Corporate Feedback Policy explains how we deal with complaints. It also covers other types of feedback like comments, suggestions and compliments

It is a criminal offence to try to avoid paying Council Tax. This can be by

  • giving false information to the council
  • not telling us about any changes that might affect how much council tax is due

Your circumstances may have changed. This might mean your Council Tax bill needs to be adjusted. If this is the case, please contact us straight away.

Examples of Council Tax fraud include:

  • Providing false or incorrect information when applying for council tax support.
  • Failing to advise of a change in your income or circumstances. This might affect the level of support or discount you are entitled to
  • Claiming a single person discount when other adults are living at the property.
  • Claiming a student exemption when not enrolled on a full-time education course. Not declaring that non-students are living in the property.
  • Giving false information to claim a discount, exemption or other reduction
  • Not telling us when a discount or other reduction should be cancelled.

Where fraud is discovered, we will always try and get the money back that's been overpaid. We will consider whether further action is appropriate. Further action could include:

  • a caution
  • administrative penalties
  • being denied current or future reductions
  • being prosecuted

It is an offence if you fail to notify us of a change that affects your council tax liability within 21 days of the change occurring.

Tell us about a change to your circumstances

Customers, who fail to inform us of a change to their circumstances, may face a £70.00 penalty.

Can I appeal the penalty notice?

Initially, you should write to us to explain why you feel the Penalty Notice is incorrect, within 21 days. We will then review our decision and advise you of the outcome.

If you still disagree with our decision to impose a penalty, you can then appeal direct to the Valuation Tribunal Services. Valuation Tribunal Services are completely independent to the Council.

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