Liability appeals

You are entitled to appeal if you disagree that you are liable for Council Tax and how much you are liable to pay.

You can appeal if:

  • you disagree that you are the person liable to pay the Council Tax
  • you think your property should be exempt from Council Tax
  • you think you should be entitled to a reduction due to disability
  • you think you should be entitled to a personal discount

How to appeal

Firstly, you must write to the Council Tax Section. You should state your name and address, the reference number on your bill (if known) and explain what you object to and why. When we receive your letter, we may need to ask you for more information.

Valuation Tribunal Appeals

You are able to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if:

  • we reject your arguments, or
  • we act on your complaint, but you are still not satisfied, or
  • at the end of two months you have not heard from us

Contact us for appeals to Babergh and Mid Suffolk

Further information can be found on the Valuation Tribunal website

Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of Council Tax in the meantime. If your appeal is successful, you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid tax.

Banding appeals

Contact the Valuation Office Agency if you disagree with your home's Council Tax band and have been the taxpayer for less than 6 months.

Remember that making an appeal of any kind does not mean you are allowed to stop paying Council Tax.

If your appeal is successful, you will be refunded any Council Tax you have overpaid.

Council Tax Reduction Appeals

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. This can be done at any point after receiving confirmation of a Council Tax Reduction.

Council Tax payers will be notified in writing of their reductions under the CTRS.

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 write to the Council to explain why you disagree with the Council's decision. Council Tax payers can only appeal if the Council has:

  • miscalculated their liability
  • misapplied the rules of the CTRS

Your request for reconsideration must include:

  • your full name and address
  • the address that the appeal relates to
  • the date on which you are appealing and the name of the Council to whom you are appealing
  • the date on which you were notified of the reduction decision by the Council
  • what grounds exactly you wish to appeal against
  • reasons why you consider that the decision or calculation made by the Council was incorrect
  • where you have also made a housing benefit appeal to the Tribunal Service and the appeal raises common issues of fact

The Council will then look at your claim and advise you of the outcome of the reconsideration. The Council will:

  • outline the reasons why they believe the appeal is not well founded, or
  • confirm the steps taken to address the appeal  

If the decision is not changed in your favour, you have the right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. The appeal must be made within 2 months of the date of the reconsideration.

The Council must respond to you within 2 months of receiving a challenge to the Council Tax Reduction 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. You must explain the grounds on which you are challenging the calculation of the Council Tax Reduction. You must give the Council an opportunity to resolve the matter. If you remain aggrieved (disagree with the decision), you can appeal to the VTE within 2 months of receiving a written response from the Council.

If the Council fails to respond to your grievance within 2 months, you can appeal directly to the VTE. Your appeal to the VTE must be made within 4 months of sending your grievance to the Council.

The VTE cannot hear appeals about the design and contents of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. However, it will hear appeals about how the scheme has been applied to your circumstances. If you believe that the scheme is unlawful then you will need to apply for judicial review in the High Court. Contact details and further information on how to appeal can be found by visiting 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. This has to be made on a point of law within 4 weeks of the date the decision notice is given. Where written reasons have been requested, the appeal must be made within 2 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.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme Information