The procedure for disclosure of documents in Council Tax liability Tribunals has recently changed and is now subject to much stricter rules from 01 April 2017. Failure to follow these rules can result in the failure of an appeal.
What has changed ?
The Valuation Tribunal rules on disclosure of evidence were much more relaxed than that required for a court however the new rules put the Tribunal on to a system which is much closer to that used by the court system. The Tribunal will issued a set of standard directions laying out the specifics of what they require.
For Council Tax liability appeals the Local Authority is required to supply an evidence bundle to the Council Tax payer no later than 6 weeks prior to the hearing date.
Any evidence on which the Council Tax payer wishes to rely on in the Tribunal hearing, for example case-law. written documents etc., must be sent to the Local Authority no later than 4 weeks to the hearing date.
The Local Authority will assemble the full case bundle of all documents etc on behalf of both parties and forward this to the Tribunal no later than 2 weeks to the hearing date.
Additional evidence outside of the set time-scales can only be submitted with the agreement of the Tribunal and under exceptional circumstances only.
Further information is available from the Valuation Tribunal.
What if my appeal started prior to 01 April 2017 ?
Where an appeal started prior to 01 April 2017 the ‘old rules’ should still apply. If in doubt however it would be advisable to contact the Valuation Tribunal to confirm.
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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.