Preparing evidence for council tax liability appeal

A representative from your local council will normally attend the hearing.  They will present their evidence and argument as to why they think your charges are correct.  It is therefore important that you prepare thoroughly for your hearing.  Gathering evidence to support your case can take time and effort.

We have a range of guidance that may assist you.

What to think about?

You should make sure that your case explains the issues that you and the local council disagree about and the decision you want from the tribunal. The panel will consider evidence provided by both sides before they can make a decision.

You should set out your arguments that support your case (including any legislation or case law) and enclose any evidence that you have to support this.

The VTS Council Tax Manual provides information about council tax law and how the Tribunal interprets it.  It also includes references to relevant decisions of superior courts.  These may affect the Tribunal’s decision on your appeal.

Past tribunal decisions regarding same or similar issues are also useful.   These may also contain references to High Court decisions. You can search them here.

The following are the more common types of appeals that the tribunal hears and examples of evidence that would be useful.

Types of evidence you could provide (and where to find it)

1. Your main or only home is not at the property the appeal relates to (the appeal property)

Evidence showing you’re linked to another property, such as

  • tenancy agreements,
  • bills,
  • bank statements,
  • other official documents.

2. Houses in multiple occupation

  • Tenancy agreements,
  • photographs of inside of property,
  • rent statements,
  • bank statements showing rent payments,
  • rent receipts,

3. Liability to pay the council tax

Evidence showing your link to the property has ended, such as:

  • tenancy agreements,
  • tenancy termination notice
  • proof of sale of property
  • someone else being resident

4. Single person discount

Evidence showing that you live alone, such as:

  • tenancy agreement

Evidence showing that the person you live with should be disregarded, such as

  • student certificate
  • medical certificate

If the council say someone else lives with you, evidence showing they are linked to another property, such as:

  • tenancy agreements,
  • bills,
  • bank statements,
  • other official documents.

5. Exemptions

Documents supporting why you believe the property should be exempt from council tax.

This will depend on the specific exemption you are claiming.

6. Council tax discretionary relief

Documents supporting why you believe the property should receive a discretionary relief.

This will depend on the specific reasons you are claiming discretionary relief, but normally would include:

  • Proof of income (such as earnings, benefits, or other payments)
  • Proof of savings or investments
  • Proof of your expenditure

Previous decisions and case law lists

You may find it useful to look at previous tribunal decisions about other council tax appeals as these may give you an indication of what other appellants have used as evidence to argue their case.

There is also the Tribunal’s guidance and Consolidated Practice Statement, which may be relevant to your case.

If you intend to rely on case law, the case will not need to be included in full in your bundle of evidence submitted to the Tribunal if it appears on this case law list. However, you must include the relevant extract you intend to rely on, together with an explanation of how it assists your case.

You may also find useful information on the following websites: and

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