Council Tax Rebanding – How do I challenge my council tax band?
Now you have figured out what tax band you are in, we can begin to work out if you are being taxed correctly and if you’re eligible to put in a claim for a rebate.
Before you do this, you need to understand that challenging your council tax band means that your situation will be ‘reassessed’. This means that a price slash on your tax bill is not guaranteed and you may end up paying more on your council tax than you already do.
Be sure that you perform thorough checks and don’t proceed with a speculative challenge. Remember that if you’ve added an extension or performed DIY work that increases the value of your property, you could see your council tax band increase.
How do I challenge my council tax banding?
If you’re sure that your property is in the wrong council tax band, you need to:
• If you live in England or Wales, write to or call your Local Listing Officer (find yours here http://www.voa.gov.uk/council_tax/the_role_of_listing_officers.htm)
• If you live in Scotland, write to or call your Local Assessor (find yours here http://www.saa.gov.uk/introduction.html)
From here you will be told how your council tax band was originally decided, giving you the opportunity to explain why you believe it to be wrong and how it should be changed to adequately suit you.
Remember the ‘valuation check’ is more a safety check before doing the challenge, if you source actual sales prices from around 1991, that’s stronger evidence and your claim is likely to pass through quicker.
Can I appeal my council tax band if I’ve been in the property for longer than six months?
Many people are told by officials that they cannot have a valuation check as they have been in the property for longer than six months. There are ways to get around this, as your Local Listings Officer has a legal duty to ensure all properties are in the correct council tax band.
If it does not work then keep being persistent by phoning them up and writing polite letters. They should eventually come round and you will have your council tax band re-evaluated.
What if my appeal is rejected?
You can further appeal the decision and try again, but if you get rejected once again it’s perhaps best to wrap up this pursuit and look for other ways to cave some cash.
What if I succeed?
Expect to have your band lowered! Ensure you get a backdated rebate from the moment you moved into the property (or 1993, whichever is later), this sum of money can be very helpful. You may also want to consider contacting previous occupants as they should be entitled to a pay out too, that is if you maintain contact with them.