The local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) has replaced Council Tax Benefit. This is a reduction in the amount of Council Tax you have to pay and not a benefit payment. If you disagree with your Council Tax Reduction, you may initiate a challenge under section 16 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 at any point after receiving confirmation of a Council Tax Reduction.
Council Tax payers will be notified in writing of their reductions under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
What should you do if you are not happy with our decision?
A Council Tax payer may request the Council reconsider its decision at any point after receiving confirmation of a council tax reduction. You must advise the Council in writing, stating the grounds on which you have a grievance against the Council's calculation. Council Tax payers can only appeal if the Council has:
Your request for reconsideration must include:
The Council will then look at your claim and advise you of the outcome of the reconsideration, outlining the reasons why they believe the grievance is not well founded or confirming the steps taken to address the grievance. If the decision is not changed in your favour, you have right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for England within two months of the date of the reconsideration.
The Council must respond to you within two months of receiving a challenge to the CTR calculation.
At what point can the taxpayer appeal to the Valuation Tribunal?
Before you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for England (VTE) you must have written to the Council explaining the grounds on which you are challenging the calculation of the Council Tax Reduction, giving the Council an opportunity to resolve the matter. If you remain aggrieved then you can appeal to the VTE within two months of receiving a written response from the Council.
If the Council fails to respond to your grievance within two months then you can appeal direct to the VTE within four months of sending your grievance to the Council's decision.
The VTE cannot hear appeals about the design and contents of the Council Tax Reduction scheme, but only how the scheme has been applied to your circumstances. If you believe that the scheme is unlawful then the remedy is to apply for judicial review in the High Court. Further information, contact details and forms on which to appeal to the VTE can be obtained from the Valuation Tribunal website.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the Valuation Tribunal Appeal a further appeal can be made to the High Court on a point of law within four weeks of the date the decision notice is given or, where written reasons have been requested, within two weeks of the provision of those reasons, if later. It should be noted that there is no recourse to the Upper Tribunal in respect of CTRS appeals.
You can download the Council Tax Reduction Scheme below:
A revised scheme applies from 1 April 2018 which you can download below: