Penalty notice appeal
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) can make you pay a civil penalty if you don’t give them information they’ve asked for or give them false or misleading information.
This page explains how the appeal process works and provides resources for each stage.
The appeal process
If you would like to appeal the decision made by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), please first review the step-by-step process below.
There are also some helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) beneath the appeal process.
Understand what an appeal involves
To make an appeal you’ll first need to complete an appeal form and provide evidence to support your case. You’ll find details on how to do this below.
You must make the appeal within 28 days from the date on the penalty notice.
If your case is accepted, you will then be expected to attend an appeal hearing to present your case to the Valuation Tribunal, who will make the final decision.
The appeal process currently takes about 9 months, from submission of an appeal form to final decision.
What issues can I appeal?
Depending on the type of penalty you’ve received, you can appeal for the reasons below:
- You do not have the information that the VOA wants
- You have a good reason for not providing the information the VOA wants
- You did not know the information you gave was false.
- You were not reckless or careless when giving the information.
- The penalty is £500 (large proposer), but you think it should be £200 as you are a small proposer.
Complete the appeal form
If you want to appeal, please complete an appeal form. In the appeal form you should explain why you think the decision is wrong.
The form needs to be completed in one session (there is no option to save a part-completed form).
You will also need to attach a copy of the VOA’s decision to the appeal form.
We will check your appeal form and register the appeal if we have all the information. We aim to register appeals within 10 working days of receiving them.
We will let you know when the appeal is registered.
Once registered, we aim to set (known as list) a date for an appeal hearing within 5 months from the registration date.
If we cannot register the appeal, we will let you know why.
Prepare your evidence
You will receive a notice of hearing when we list your case to a hearing.
You will need to convince the panel that the serving of the penalty notice by the Valuation Office Agency, is wrong.
To give you time to prepare for the hearing, we aim to give 10 weeks’ notice of the hearing date.
The below evidence can be enclosed to support your case.
Check challenge penalties
- Evidence that the information provided was correct at the time of submission
- Evidence that you’re a smaller proposer
Business rates penalties
- Copy of what was provided to the VOA
- Proof of positing to the VOA
- Evidence supporting any reasons for delay
Attend the hearing
Appeals are decided by the Valuation Tribunal panel at the appeal hearing. At the current time, all hearings are conducted remotely using online/audio visual conferencing software.
The tribunal is impartial and independent. The tribunal will listen to both sides before making a decision.
During the hearing:
- The panel will ask you and the VOA to present your cases.
- You will be able to ask questions.
- You may be asked questions.
We try to make the hearing as informal as we can, and we will try put everyone at ease. However, these are judicial proceedings, so there is some formality.
The panel will make its decision on the evidence and arguments, bearing in mind what the law (legislation and case law) allows.
Our decision is not normally given at the hearing.
We will send you a decision notice (with reasons) within 1 month of the hearing by your preferred method of communication. If this period is likely to be exceeded, then the clerk to the hearing will contact you with information on when you can expect your decision.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. You are free to make appeals to or seek advice from the VOA yourself; you do not need to employ a rating advisor.
There are a number of companies that may assist you and provide a rating advisor. Please make sure you are fully aware of any costs and conditions involved before signing up.