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Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

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  • Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

    [MENTION=15129]Crazy council[/MENTION] (or anyone else) hoping you can help with this one.

    For a bit of background, I moved into a property last November and I applied to have the tax band from reduced from D to C. End of April/May this year, I received confirmation that the band is now tax band C and the council should update accordingly.

    My understanding is that I should be entitled to a refund of the overpaid tax from the previous council tax year i.e. November 2016 to March 2017. The council have refused to answer or acknowledge anything about it and I'm coming to the end of my tether. But before I go about things all guns blazing, I thought I'd check whether I am entitled to a refund at all?

    I came across The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 where Regulation 24 (Payments: Adjustments) says the following:

    (2) If the chargeable amount proves to be less than the estimated amount the billing authority shall notify the liable person in writing of the chargeable amount; and any overpayment of the chargeable amount -

    (a) subject to paragraph (6), shall be repaid if the liable person so requires, or
    (b) in any other case shall (as the billing authority determines) either be repaid or be credited against any subsequent liability of the liable person to make a payment in respect of any council tax of the authority.
    Paragraph (6) says this:

    (6) If the chargeable amount or the appropriate amount is less than the estimated amount in consequence of the liable person ceasing during the relevant year to be liable to make the payment to which the estimated amount relates, and he becomes liable, in respect of a different chargeable dwelling, to make a payment to the same billing authority by way of council tax in respect of the same day as that on which he so ceases, the billing authority may require that the amount of any overpayment mentioned in paragraph (2) or difference mentioned in paragraph (3)(b) shall, instead of being repaid, be credited against his liability in respect of the different dwelling.
    According to 24(2)(a) if I require the overpayment to be repaid then the council must do so. Para. 6 as I understand refers to where the person ceases at one particular dwelling and moves to another (type or the same?) but still falls under the same council. If that is the case, then the council has the discretion to credit the amount instead of being refunded.

    Am I along the right lines here? Or can the council rely on 24(2)(b) to argue that the overpayment can be offset against the new council tax year?
    DISCLAIMER: ANY CONTENT I POST IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A REPLACEMENT OR SUBSTITUTION FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OF MY POSTS NOR DO I ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY. USE OF ANY CONTENT IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST AND I ACCEPT NO LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

    Regulation 24(6) would apply where a credit is generated by a move (i.e there's a credit at the point the charge was recalculated on the vacation) and you then move immediately to another property within the same area - it's to allow the account to be sorted with the minimum of effort. It doesn't apply where a credit is generated after the move occurs (or where there's a gap between the periods of liability)

    Regulation 24(2) will apply if the credit was not due to the closure of an existing council tax account as covered by Regulation 24(6). Where 24(6) doesn't apply to force the transfer of the credit then 24(2)(a) allows you to request the refund. If you don't then 24(2)(b) allows the Local Authority to then deal with the credit themselves, the provisions under 24(2)(b) only apply where the option under 24(2)(a) isn't used.

    Craig

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

      Thanks for that, so in simple terms am I entitled to a refund of the overpaid tax from November 2016 to March 2017? and what happens if the council has adjusted my council tax payments for this year to take into account the overpaid tax from last year, do I have to accept it or can I still request them to refund me?
      DISCLAIMER: ANY CONTENT I POST IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A REPLACEMENT OR SUBSTITUTION FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OF MY POSTS NOR DO I ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY. USE OF ANY CONTENT IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST AND I ACCEPT NO LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

        I didn't have time to take a great look through the regs this morning as I was dealing with clients but l'm just thinking about this a bit more and how exactly they issued the notices for the period.

        Did they issue a seperate demand notice to cover each perod or did they issue a new, combined, one to cover the whole period including this year & the previous period ? I'm just running something over in my head and I think it may well make the difference,

        Craig

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

          I will get back to you on this, following the notification from the VOA I receive a letter from the council but which if I recall said the council tax band changed from D to C and the correct annual council tax but I sort of stored it away as that was all I was interested in thinking I could claim a refund from the previous year's overpayment.
          DISCLAIMER: ANY CONTENT I POST IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A REPLACEMENT OR SUBSTITUTION FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OF MY POSTS NOR DO I ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY. USE OF ANY CONTENT IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST AND I ACCEPT NO LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

            Originally posted by R0b View Post
            I will get back to you on this, following the notification from the VOA I receive a letter from the council but which if I recall said the council tax band changed from D to C and the correct annual council tax but I sort of stored it away as that was all I was interested in thinking I could claim a refund from the previous year's overpayment.
            Ta, It would be the demand notice they issued after the change that is particularly relevant and what period they covered on the notice(s).

            Craig

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

              I moved into my property in April 2014 and during that year appealed to have the banding reduced from E to C and that was refused. I then made a 'late appeal' to the Valuation Tribunal ( admittedly with some pressure of my 23 years experience enforcing council tax ) and they agreed a Tribunal hearing for January this year. However, in December of last year the Tribunal rang me stating that I had submitted a convincing case and they agreed a reduction from E to D.

              I subsequently received a notice of band reduction from the VOA from May 2012, that date being the first council tax chargeable account issued on my property, the property being a new built in 2010 and not actually occupied until 2012.

              That means that any previous ctax payer(s) will receive a refund for any occupation from May 2012 to the date that they vacated.

              Frankly, I cannot see why you have not been refunded for the previous tax year i.e. up to the 31st March 2017. But you should have received a notice of band change from the VOA with a qualifying date. You can also check that on the VOA website.

              In fact, there are 66 flats in my block and I persuaded the VOA to take into account a further ten flats that were all at band E but were of similar size, accommodation and value to my own and they agreed to reduce all ten flats, everyone received a refund based on their occupation date, some as much as 3 years.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

                Hi

                Had the same done, made them reband it back all the way. The banding addjustment goes all the way back to the last update, i got mine ( in 2012 ) backedated to 1997 ( when i first moved in )

                ( [MENTION=92682]lgfa92[/MENTION] thanks for pointing out the regs... its usfull to me for another reason. . )
                crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

                  The reason I asked over the way the demand notices was issued is that it opens up a range of arguments (due to the poor wording of the regs).

                  There are two ways the council could deal with the billing situation and each can be dealt with separately.

                  1) Issue a seperate demand notice for each council tax year of the backdating (and a demand notice for this current year)
                  or
                  2) Issue one demand notice to cover the period from start of the band change through to 31 March 2018

                  Legislation is loose enough to allow either 'single year billing' or 'multi year billing'. In my opinion on the the Regs I'd argue that;

                  Reg 24 applies where there has been a difference between what was estimated to be due and the actual amount which is due. This covers cases where there has been an adjustment to an existing demand notice (ie. an estimated amount can't have been due unless a demand notice had been previously served to show that amount).

                  It is clear in this case that the chargeable amount has reduced compared to the original estimated amount as the band has been retrospectively lowered.

                  if it is 1) then;

                  Each year or part year period prior to 01 April 2017 forms a separate demand notice. Reg 24(6) only applies where the person 'becomes liable, in respect of a different chargeable dwelling' so it doesn't apply here. Reg 24(2) should therefore apply to each of the individual billing periods and the tax payer should get first choice on the backdated ones.

                  For the current year the charge would need to be looked at from 1 April 17 to 31 Mar 18 and any re-calculated - any excess would then be available for refunding in respect of this period as per Reg 24(2).


                  If it is 2) then;

                  Reg 24(6) only applies where the person 'becomes liable, in respect of a different chargeable dwelling' therefore Reg 24(2) should apply. This allows the tax payer to choose what happens with the excess amount. The problem is that the credit would only be the excess above the entire charge covered on the demand notice, i.e. for the whole period up to 31 March 2018.


                  At the end of the day though it all comes down to how much the Local Authority are willing to argue the case. Ultimately, if you wanted to, Reg 55 allows you to pursue the refund through a county court if you so wished but I'm not aware of anyone ever having used this route.


                  Craig
                  Last edited by lgfa92; 17th August 2017, 11:21:AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Council Tax Refund - Am I Entitled to one?

                    Originally posted by Crazy council View Post
                    Hi

                    Had the same done, made them reband it back all the way. The banding addjustment goes all the way back to the last update, i got mine ( in 2012 ) backedated to 1997 ( when i first moved in )

                    ( @lgfa92 thanks for pointing out the regs... its usfull to me for another reason. . )
                    Most Local Authorities have grasped that they have to backdate the banding reductions all the way and not try to limit it to 6 years - if only they applied the same logic to other discounts etc (mind, if they did I'd be out of a lot of work, ,so ...). When it comes to getting the refund though it can obviously lead to the arguments as here although usually a person tends not to mind if the current year is cleared.

                    Comment

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