Avalable as a 1-Day or 2-Day Workshop for in-house bookings.
A Training Workshop for staff dealing with enquiries from members of the public over the telephone and face to face, or as an introduction to Council Tax for new recruits to Council Tax billing and collection.
The day begins with an overview of the scope of Council Tax: Which buildings in a local authority area will attract Council Tax liability as opposed to business rates? What is a “dwelling”? What is Council Tax for – who spends it? We then look at the valuation of dwellings for Council Tax purposes: who is responsible for the valuation, the occasions on which a dwelling is valued and when this can be disputed by the tax payer. The property valuation bands will be explained, including the reasons why the valuation refers to a date falling almost 30 years in the past.
The next stage of the workshop looks at exemptions: Which classes of dwelling are not subject to Council Tax either indefinitely or for a limited period? We will consider the evidence required in order to establish that a dwelling is exempt – for example where the sole resident is a person with a Severe Mental Impairment.
Assuming that Council Tax is payable for a dwelling, we move on to consider how the Council establishes which person (or persons jointly) will be liable to pay the tax. This part of the course covers:
· The hierarchy of interests in a dwelling;
· Unoccupied property subject to a tenancy – who pays: owner or tenant?
· Houses in multiple occupation;
· Cases where the dwelling would have been exempt if the liable person/one of the liable persons were the sole resident – for example a mixed household of students and non-students.
Having identified the liable person or persons, we look at the amount of Council Tax payable. In this part of the course we will consider:
· How the amount for each Band is calculated;
· Discounts arising from the personal status of the resident(s);
· Means-tested Council Tax Reduction;
· The Council’s discretion to reduce a person’s Council Tax;
· Backdating reductions – how far back can the Council go?
The next topic is billing: we look at issues including instalment plans, the effect of an adjustment in mid-year, events that will mean the tax-payer forfeits the opportunity to pay by instalments etc.
Leading on from billing, we deal with the recovery of Council Tax arrears, looking at the incremental steps in the recovery process and the costs that get added to the bill at each stage from Liability Order through to the use of bailiffs.
The final topic is an overview of the appeals system: What should a tax-payer do if s/he thinks that his/her bill is incorrect, or that s/he should not be liable to pay it? We will look at the time limits to raise the matter with the Council initially and then with the independent Valuation Tribunal. We will also briefly look at how the Valuation Tribunal works.
A Workshop presented by Peter Barker, “The HB Anorak”. By means of presentations, discussions and exercises our presenter will provide a fact-filled day covering the most up-to-date information available.
We are always pleased to arrange most of our Workshops, such as this one, for staff from an individual organisation to be held at their own training venue. We also offer this topic to In-House clients as a more comprehensive 2-day Workshop. Please email us with your requirements for details.
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