Refusal by valuation tribunal appeal for delay

18th January 2017

With a strong offering to local authorities within our top ranked Restructuring and Insolvency team, as a team we come across many matters when in the process of recovering Council Tax and National Non-Domestic rates where disputes are raised to the Valuation Tribunal.

With this in mind we would like to highlight the recent case of Kathleen Mary Stone v (1) Valuation Office Agency (2) Valuation Tribunal for England (2016) QBD (Admin) (Judge McKenna) 15/12/2016

The facts in brief are that in 1994, the Valuation tribunal considered the Appellant’s claim that her property should have classed as Council Tax Band D as opposed to Band E. The Valuation Tribunal dismissed her appeal to them on the grounds that she did not attend the hearing.

The homeowner sought an appeal but delayed in the matter. Her appeal was then heard on 12 January 2016, the Appellant claimed that she was unaware of the original hearing and she believed that her husband had hidden the notification of the hearing from her in order to maximise the value of the property. She claimed she did not receive a copy of the notice until 2013, some nine years after the decision. On 29 January 2016, it was deemed that she was statute barred from making an appeal on the grounds that this was outside of the 28 day time limit for making an application to review a decision pursuant Regulation 40(3) of the Council Tax (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2009 (the 2009 Regulations).

The Appeal of the January 2016 decision was dismissed on the three below grounds:

(1) The tribunal had exercised its statutory power to dismiss the appeal in consequence of her non-attendance. The appellant had not identified any grounds to show that decision was wrong. Whilst she submitted that she was unaware of the 1994 hearing her evidence of the property’s valuation was similar to the value that the Agency had at the time and therefore there were no grounds to appeal.

(2) Pursuant to the Regulation 4(5)(a) of the 2009 Regulations a proposal to alter Council tax could not be made after six months from the date on which the person first became the tax payer. The Appellant had been the tax payer for far longer than six months.

(3) The Appellant had made the appeal over twenty one years after the date of the 1994 decision, on this basis alone pursuant to Regulation 40(3) as stated above she was time barred.

The Restructuring and Insolvency Team at Blake Morgan LLP has a specialist Local Authority offering to recover unpaid Council Tax and National Non-Domestic Rates. As part of our offering we offer a fully funded bankruptcy service providing cost certainty to Local Authorities in a sector that consistently faces financial pressures.

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