There are many situations where a Local Authority may need to issue a Council Tax Demand Notice some time after the original charge would have be due in order to ensure that their records are correct.
Can Council Tax be backdated ?
A Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure that Council Tax is collected correctly and therefore they can (and generally will) backdate Council Tax charges to ensure that the it is billed correctly. If there has been an un-reasonable delay and the Local Authority have failed to act on information they hold then you may have cause for an appeal to a Valuation Tribunal or, in some cases, a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Can a discount or exemption be backdated ?
A Council Tax discount or exemption may be able to be backdated depending on the exact situation.
Is Council Tax Statute Barred after 6 years ?
Council Tax arrears do not automatically become Statute Barred after 6 years like most other debts – Council Tax has its own specific rules on Collection and Enforcement.
Regulation 34 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations states in respect of a Court Summons application that
…but no application may be instituted in respect of a sum after the period of six years beginning with the day on which it became due under Part V…
If the Local Authority have not issued the Court Summons within the 6 year limit then they are unable obtain a Liability Order through which to enforce the debt – they can however still chase you for the money, they just cannot enforce it against you via the Magistrates’ Court.
What if the Demand Notice has just been issued but the charge is from more than 6 years ago ?
A Council Tax charge cannot become due until a Council Tax Demand Notice has been issued for it – the 6 years starts ticking from that point only. If the Local Authority have issued a Demand Notice as they’ve just found out something which has affected the charge then the 6 year period will begin with the issuing of the Demand Notice and they can continue to collect the monies which have become due.
What if I don’t acknowledge or I dispute the debt ?
Failing to acknowledge or disputing the debt does not prevent the Local Authority from continuing with enforcement action.
Keep the Local Authority updated
Remember, many problems can be avoided by ensuring that you keep the Local Authority updated.
Assistance from LGFA92
Good quality help with your Council Tax dispute can be hard to come across – there’s a lack of independent, expert, places where you can get the help you need however LGFA92’s Council Tax advisor is here to change that. See how we can help today
Contact us today. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Call our Council Tax helpline on 0191 6451118.
This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.