Council tax discounts and exemptions

Discount and exemption appeals

You can submit an appeal if you disagree with any decision relating to:

  • the person we have made responsible for paying the bill
  • discounts
  • exemptions
  • reductions for disabilities

If you are reporting that the charge is wrong because the property is now occupied or has been occupied, then the evidence we need is:  

  • your closing council tax bill showing your dates of residency for your previous sole or main residence
  • notification to your mortgage company that you are now resident at the address
  • changing your buy to let mortgage to an in-residence mortgage 
  • removal firm receipts 

Generally, utility bills will not be taken as evidence of residency.

If you are working abroad your home address is still considered your sole/main residence if you have intention to return to the property.

How to submit an appeal

To submit an appeal you will need to write a letter stating the following:

  • your council tax reference number
  • the reasons that you disagree with the decision

The letter can be submitted online by following the instructions below:

  1. Scan your supporting documents using either a scanner or taking a picture of it using your mobile phone.
  2. Send the scanned/pictured image to your computer e.g. by email or text.
  3. Attach the image and answer all the questions on the evidence form.

We have two months to reconsider our decision and may ask for further information. If your appeal is refused or you do not hear from us within two months of submitting your appeal, you have a further right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. You will need to continue to pay your bill while you are waiting for the outcome of your appeal.

Valuation tribunal appeals

Valuation tribunals are judicial bodies, whose members are experienced in hearing council tax appeals. They are wholly independent of the local council and the listing officer.
After you make the appeal, the tribunal will contact you to make arrangements for a hearing. They will send you a booklet explaining the procedures. The appeals process has been designed to be as simple as possible. Where possible, the hearing will be held locally. A tribunal hearing will not cost you anything unless you choose to employ a solicitor or other person to present your case.
If you cannot attend on the date of the hearing you can:
  • ask for another hearing date - their contact details are on the notice of hearing
  • ask the tribunal to hear the appeal without your being there and send them your case in writing.
Normally, the valuation tribunal's decision will be final. Any party who appeared at the hearing may appeal to the High Court against the decision or any order which arises from it, but only on a point of law.
If the tribunal upholds your appeal, the listing officer will be required to alter the valuation list or the council will have to reverse their original decision. We will then revise your council tax bill and adjust your payments if necessary.
You must make an appeal to the council tax manager before going to the Valuation Tribunal. You should continue to pay your council tax bill while your appeal is outstanding.