Council Tax Reduction - Appealing to the Valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW)
If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax. This is called a Council Tax Reduction (CTR).
Read this page to find out how you can appeal to an independent tribunal if you think or are awarded less than you think you should have.
The Valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW) is independent of the local authority. It can hear appeals against a decision made by any local authority in Wales.
You can appeal to the VTW against your local authority’s decision about:
- whether you are entitled to any CTR, or
- how much CTR you are entitled to.
You can also appeal to the VTW against a local authority’s decision about a discretionary reduction off the bill
Even if you decide to appeal, you must still make the payments shown on your Council Tax bill.
If you think the decision about your CTR is wrong you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau.
- To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.
- More about discretionary reductions off the bill
When and how to appeal
If you disagree with the decision about your Council Tax Reduction (CTR), you must write to the local authority to say why you think the decision is wrong, and ask it to change the decision. From 1 April 2014, your request to change the decision must be received by the local authority within one month of the date you were sent the decision, or, if you asked for an explanation of the decision, within one month of when the explanation was sent to you.
If you have asked the local authority to change their decision, and you are not satisfied with its response, you can appeal to the VTW. You will need to send a copy of its letter with your appeal. You must appeal within two months of the date of the local authority’s reply (but see below).
If the local authority has not replied to you within two months of you asking it to change the decision, you can appeal to the VTW, as long as no more than four months have passed since you first wrote to the local authority (but see below).
If you think you might have missed these time limits you should contact the VTW. Late appeals can be accepted in certain circumstances.
If you have appealed to the First-tier Tribunal about your Housing Benefit calculation because of the same facts as those used to make the CTR decision, you should also send a copy of that appeal with your CTR appeal.
Guidance notes and an appeal form are available on the VTW website. You should send the appeal to the Regional Office of VTW that covers your local authority. Make sure you keep a copy.
Council Tax Reduction law in Wales is very similar to the earlier Council tax benefit law, so the decisions of the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal may be useful in CTR appeals.
- You can search the decisions database at www.administrativeappeals.tribunals.gov.uk.
After you have sent an appeal
When it has received your appeal, the VTW will send you an Acknowledgement Notice which:
- confirms that they have received your appeal
- provides their contact details
- shows the information that they hold for your appeal
- gives you an appeal reference number.
The Acknowledgement Notice also includes an enquiry form, which you will need to return within two weeks. This will help the VTW make arrangements for your appeal hearing.
If you decide you no longer wish to proceed with the appeal, you must notify the Clerk of the Tribunal, in writing.
You can find guidance about the hearing and the tribunal's decision on the VTW website.
If you are not satisfied with the tribunal's decision, you may be able to complain, or appeal against the decision or apply for a Judicial review.
- More about the decision and what you can do to change it at www.valuation-tribunals-wales.org.uk .
The Valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW)
Valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW)
East Wales Region tel: 01633 266 367
North Wales Region tel: 03000 625 350
South Wales Region tel: 01633 255 003
West Wales Region tel: 03007 904 530
More details of VTW offices available at www.valuation-tribunals-wales