Nottingham taxpayers urged not to spend unnecessary fees on tax band appeals

Loxley House

Nottingham residents have been reminded they can appeal for free if they think that their council tax band is wrong.

It comes after more people in the City were contacted by companies claiming their banding was too high and they were potentially owed money. These firms can charge more than £100 to investigate a claim.

The aim is to get the tax band for the property reduced and then receive a refund from the local authority for overpaid council tax.

Nottingham City Council wishes to make people aware that:

  • These companies charge for the service
  • If you think your council tax band is wrong, or would simply like to check it, you can contact the Government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) at gov.uk/contact-voa or by calling 03000 501501

Property bands are set by the VOA and it is a simple, and free, process to check online.

Councillor Graham Chapman, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re aware that some people in Nottingham have been contacted by companies offering a service which is free and easily accessible.

“It’s wrong to be trying to charge more than £100 and giving the impression that checking, or appealing, a tax band is a complex thing to do. It’s not.

“The process is really simple. A property’s council tax band will be shown on a standard council tax bill. If you feel that the banding may be wrong, you can make a formal appeal or simply ask the VOA to check for you – neither costs any money to do.”

If someone believes that their banding may be wrong, they can make a formal appeal as long as:

  • The person has been liable for the property for less than six months and can demonstrate that its value at 1 April 1991 would have been such that it should be in a different band
  • The claimant believes the property warrants a reduced value due to a change in the building or its locality, for example part of it has been converted or demolished, or there has been a material change in the surrounding area

Before deciding to contact the Valuation Office, please remember that property prices vary over time. The valuation for Council Tax purposes was made on 1 April 1991 and the change in general prices since then is not grounds for appeal.

Also, it’s important to note that making an appeal does not allow the claimant to withhold payment of council tax. Any overpaid council tax will be repaid if the claim is successful.

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