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I've Been Overpaying Council Tax Due to Incorrect Banding for 26 Years


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Hi,

 

I've been paying Council tax for Band C while owning my property for the last 26 years.

 

But I recently checked and discovered that in 1991 my property would have been worth £45,000 which puts it very firmly in Band B. I bought it for £44,000 in 1996. (Property prices actually went down in the early 1990s, which explains the apparent anomaly.)

 

The difference between Bands B and C is £222 annually. Over 26 years this amounts to £5,772.

 

Now I realise that I will have to compensate for the fact that council tax would have been less in previous years. Is there a quick calculator online to calculate this by using an average annual inflation percentage figure?

 

Also, am I allowed, when claiming this money back from my council (Three Rivers Council in Hertfordshire) to add the usual statutory 8% annual interest?

 

Any advice or help, or past experience, would be much appreciated.

 

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WWW.GOV.UK

How to challenge your Council Tax band if you think you're paying too much Council Tax because your band is wrong.

 

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You are getting ahead of yourself here @walker323

 

I'm assuming you are in England.

 

You can't sue the council because they don't decide what Band you are in for Council Tax. That is decided by a separate government department called the 'Valuation Office Agency' [VOA]. The VOA decide the band for your house and notify it to the Council. The Council then charges you based on the Band notified to them by the VOA.  The Council has no discretion, they must base your CT on what the VOA tells them. The council can't change your Band, only the VOA can do that.

 

If you want to challenge your Council Tax Band  you have to appeal to the VOA. There's a set procedure for this which Andyorch has linked in Post #2.

 

I have no direct experience of  whether the VOA, if they agreed to re-band your house,  would backdate that to 1991. I suspect not, and that they would only agree to change it going forwards. You'll only find out by submitting a formal challenge to the VOA.

 

 

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Thanks for posting your response, Ethel.

 

I wasn't planning on backdating this to 1991 as I've only lived here since 1996, or 26 years ago, as my original post states.

 

There are plenty of successful cases of people backdating their claims to the beginning of their residency on the MoneySavingExpert site, so I can't really see any reason why I should be barred from the same kind of outcome.

 

Yes, I've been in email contact with the VOA and it is they whose initial assessment I'm challenging. In particular, my property would need to have been valued at about £8,000 more than it was in 1991 in order for it to have been put in Band C originally. As it was, it originally was worth in the lower half of Band B, so it's actually much closer to Band A than it is to Band C.

 

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Yes, I'm waiting for the VOA response to the email I sent them earlier today. It is the VOA I'm in contact with over this.

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