Q&As

Does a Council tax liability order disappear if the Council issue a new demand for a lesser amount?

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Produced in partnership with Alan Murdie of Council Tax Legal Services
Published on LexisPSL on 29/01/2020

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Alan Murdie of Council Tax Legal Services provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does a Council tax liability order disappear if the Council issue a new demand for a lesser amount?
  • Obtaining the liability order
  • Section 82 Local Government Act 2003

The question relates to liability orders in the magistrates and although the order is the most commonly issued civil judgment it falls outside the CPR rules.

Council tax was introduced from 1 April 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (LGFA 1992).

By virtue of LGFA 1992, s 1, billing authorities have a statutory duty to levy and collect the tax. LGFA 1992 is skeleton legislation and sets out a skeleton scheme on the machinery of the tax and its calculation. However, detail on liability orders and proceedings is fleshed out in regulations made pursuant to powers conferred by LGFA 1992 in the Council Tax (Administration & Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (CT(AE)R 1992), SI 1992/613.

Under CT(AE)R 1992, SI 1992/613, reg 14, a duty is placed on the billing authority to take reasonable steps to ascertain whether, among other things, the chargeable amount is subject to Single Person Discount, leading to assumptions that may vary through the year.

Under these regulations the billing authority issues notices demanding payment of council tax for (in particular) the next financial year (from 1 April up until 31 March of the following year) and to assume for that purpose that the taxpayer's liability will remain the same throughout that year. However, as council tax is a daily tax, the amount may change with circumstances in any year.

CT(AE)R 1992, SI 1992/613, regs 18–31

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