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Is it worth to challenge the council tax fine?

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  • Is it worth to challenge the council tax fine?

    Hello knowledgeable people,

    Help me figure a couple of things out please:
    I moved properties within the same council in London 4-5 months ago and although i had direct debits set up to pay for council tax the last payment for my previous property got declined by the bank for an unknown reason. The debt was some 50 or so gbp. Note that they are charging me for my new flat all this time with no issues.

    Now they are saying they were sending out notices for 5 months to my new address about the debt but i didn't receive it. I did however receive a liability order yesterday for 200 gbp (with 150 of it i am assuming being a fine) with a request to disclose my income.
    I already payed the fine but am wondering:

    1. Is it worth challenging it and if so what is the best way to do it?
    2. Am i indeed required to disclose my financials to them?

    Thanks for clearing it out.

    Best
    Last edited by Leito; 31st July 2019, 09:13:AM.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    It's not a fine - fines for council tax apply under very specific circumstances only. What you do have is a council tax liability order with costs added.

    If they have served a regulation 36 notice asking for details of employment etc then it is an offence not to respond and that can be subject to a court fine. The fine, issued by the magistrates, can be up to 1000. Got to say though, in nearly 15 years working in council tax (for councils and as a paralegal against councils) I have never heard of a council actually using the provision.

    It can be worth asking for copies of the demand notice,reminder and summons to see where it was sent but providing that they sent it then it is deemed to have been received, unless you can show otherwise. To formally challenge a liability order you need to apply to the court but the burden is on you to show the fault that prevents the liability order being valid. The council could apply for the order to be formally quashed but in practical terms it's a power that's never really used (or needed).

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for clearing this out, this is very helpful. I guess there is not much i can do in this case.

      A bit of a shame that a burden of proof is on me granted they apparently have around 150GBP in "added costs" some of it could have been used to send me a notice that requires a signature upon receiving. That way they can at least be sure i got it. Or an email.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Leito View Post
        Thank you for clearing this out, this is very helpful. I guess there is not much i can do in this case.

        A bit of a shame that a burden of proof is on me granted they apparently have around 150GBP in "added costs" some of it could have been used to send me a notice that requires a signature upon receiving. That way they can at least be sure i got it. Or an email.
        There is no legal requirement to issue anything by email or signed for delivery for the service of council tax notices - they just have to be posted to the last known address and then Royal Mail are assumed in law to have delivered unless the opposite can be shown. (Never use signed for delivery if you want to show service as if a person declines to sign you can't show they received it).

        Comment


        • #5
          Now that i am thinking about it we received some mails addressed to Dexters (our previous landlord) mentioning some sort of debt and liability on an envelope, but we never opened it because we thought it's not addressed to us. Might be all our fault after all.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Leito View Post
            Now that i am thinking about it we received some mails addressed to Dexters (our previous landlord) mentioning some sort of debt and liability on an envelope, but we never opened it because we thought it's not addressed to us. Might be all our fault after all.
            Possibly the council writing to the landlord asking for details but that wouldn't have stopped notices being issued to you.

            I would suggest asking the council where the notices were sent to - if they were aware of the new address but had sent them to the old address then you have an argument on the validity of service.

            Comment

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