Challenging a Council Tax Liability Order

What we must prove

To make a liability order we must give evidence that: 

  • There is a current entry for the property in the Council Tax Banding List
  • An invalid defence was given, for example, you do not agree with your council tax band
  • We advertised the council tax in a local newspaper
  • The bill and reminder have been posted to your last known address
  • We must prove that we sent it to your last known address. It is not a defence to say that you did not receive it
  • You have not paid the tax as per the bill, or part of it
  • If you have paid the tax, but not the costs, we can still ask for a liability order and use it to collect the costs

If the Magistrates decide that it is likely that these things are true, they must make a liability order. 

Valid defences against a liability order

There are only two reasons why a court will not issue a liability order:

  • We have not given evidence that proves the points above
  • You have paid the amount in full, including costs

Invalid defences against a liability order

Magistrates cannot consider the following questions:

  • whether we were right to order you to pay council tax on your property
  • whether you should pay the tax
  • whether the amount claimed is wrong
  • whether you should get council tax support
  • whether your council tax support has been worked out correctly

Appeals against these questions must be made first to the Billing Authority (the council) and then to the Valuation Tribunal.  You can’t raise them in a liability order hearing.