Council tax penalty notice appeal

Your local council can make you pay a civil penalty if you don’t give them the information they ask for.

If you have received a penalty notice and dispute it, you may be able to appeal to us. This service is free.

This page explains how the appeal process works.

The appeal process

If you would like to appeal the decision made by your local council, 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 2 months 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?

We can help you with the issues below:

  • You do not have the information that your council wants
  • You have a good reason for not providing the information the council wants
  • Your council didn’t write to you to ask for the information

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 council’s 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 council’s decision to the appeal form.

Appeal registration

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 council is wrong.

For example, you could provide a copy of what was provided to the council, proof of posting to the council and provide evidence supporting any reasons for the delay.

To give you time to prepare for the hearing, we aim to give 10 weeks’ notice of the hearing date.

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 council 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 decision

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

  • For council tax appeals, the hearing is a free service.

  • No, the Tribunal cannot award costs. People making an appeal have to meet their own costs.

  • The appellant (and/or their representative), a council representative, and usually a panel of two (the senior member and a member), but sometimes a senior member will sit alone. A clerk will also be present.

  • Please click here to view our upcoming hearings. Next, please email with the hearing(s) you want to observe. A Tribunal Support Officer will respond to you with more information.

  • Yes, to the High Court, but only on a point of law. Please click here for more information.

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