Who has to pay the Council Tax?

Council tax is charged on every domestic property on the Isle of Wight and is payable by homeowners or occupiers. The person who must pay the Council Tax is someone who lives in the property and who is in the highest category of residence. Read down the list below from A to E until you find a category that applies to someone who lives in your property; this will be the person who must pay the council tax. If two or more people are in that category, they are usually all jointly responsible for paying.

A The owner or freeholder
B The leaseholder
C The tenant (includes a council tenant)
D A licensee
E Someone who lives in the property

Even if they do not live there, the owner of the property will have to pay the council tax if:
  • the property is no-one's main home, or
  • more than one household occupies the property, or
  • it is a residential care or nursing home, or
  • it is occupied by a religious community or minister of religion, or
  • only domestic service staff live in the property, or
  • It is only occupied by asylum seekers.

Working from home

If you work at or from home, you should be aware that the accommodation within your home used as an 'office' may be liable to business rates whilst the remainder of the property will continue to be liable to council tax (although an alteration may be made to its banding).
There are many considerations that must made in deciding whether a room in a house used as an office should be liable to business rates and each case is considered on its own merits.  The Valuation Office Agency will consider the effect of the extent and frequency of the non-domestic use of the room and any modifications made to the property to accommodate that use.
Each case is considered on its own merits, and normally a member of staff from the Valuation Office will visit the property to check the facts before an assessment is made for non domestic rates.

Valuation List Administration

Council tax is related to the valuation of your property. Each property has been valued and placed in one of eight council tax bands by the Valuation Office Agency, which is part of the Inland Revenue, not the Council.
The valuation banding is based on the relative market value of the property as at 1 April 1991. The charge for each band is calculated as a multiple of the band D amount.

Banding Proposals

If you are responsible for paying the council tax, or an agent acting on behalf of someone who is, you may make a formal proposal against your Council Tax Band. Under the current system a taxpayer can make a formal challenge (known as a proposal) although the circumstances in which this can be accepted as valid are limited. The case is transmitted as an “appeal” to an independent valuation tribunal after about 30days. This means that the taxpayer’s challenge can become an appeal to the valuation tribunal before the VOA’s Listing Officer has fully explored the case. Under “Appeals Direct” the taxpayer is firmly in charge of deciding whether to move to appeal. The circumstances you can make a formal proposal are very limited but if you have a genuine concern that your home may be in the wrong band, you should contact your local Valuation Office and ask to have your band reviewed. The occasions when a challenge by “proposal” is permitted include the following:
1. If part of your property has been demolished (for example a garage or an extension). But if the demolition is the first stage of works to create a new extension, then the valuation band cannot be altered.
2. If your property has been adapted to make it suitable for use by a physically disabled person.
3. If there have been physical changes in your area which could affect the value of your property.
4. If your property has been converted into flats.
5. If you have bought a property, or been granted a lease on a property for seven years or more, and the property's value has been increased because it was extended by the previous occupier.
6. If your property becomes, or ceases to be, a "composite" property. A composite property is one, which contains both domestic and non-domestic property, such as a shop or public house with living accommodation.
7. If there is an increase or decrease in the extent of that part of a composite property used for domestic purposes (for example, a domestic living room is converted for use as an extension to the bar area in a public house).
8. If you have received a notice from the Listing Officer advising you that he/she has altered the entry for your property in the Council Tax Valuation List, you have six months to make a proposal if you do not agree with the change.
9. If the Valuation Tribunal or High Court has made a decision relevant to your property, you may make a proposal, within six months of the date of that decision, to claim that the Listing Officer has not reflected that decision in the valuation band of your property.
10. If you become a new Council Taxpayer for a dwelling, you have a period of six months within which to challenge the valuation band of your property. You may do this as long as the Valuation Tribunal or High Court has not previously considered a challenge by a previous occupier on the same facts.
11. If you are a landlord, who is not the Council Taxpayer, and the tenancy of your property is for less than six months, you can also challenge the valuation band of the property in cases 1 - 10 above.
12. You can also make a proposal to enter your property in the valuation list if it is not shown; for example a newly built dwelling or a conversion.
13. You can also make a proposal to delete a property from the valuation list if it no longer exists or if you think it should no longer be liable for Council Tax.
If you think you meet one of the above by which a valid proposal can be made – for example, if you have moved into a property within the last 6 months and you think the band is wrong you can complete a proposal form online, at www.voa.gov.
A proposal against the property banding must be made in writing to the council tax listing officer at:

Overline House
Central Station
Blechynden Terrace
Southampton SO15 1GW
Tel: 03000-504300
Fax:03000-504370
Email:wessexgroup.vo@voa.gsi.gov.uk

The Isle of Wight Council does not value properties and so cannot deal with any proposals against banding. Any changes in the value of properties due to fluctuations in the housing market will not be a reason for changing your council tax band. Making a proposal does not allow you to withhold payment of your Council Tax. If your proposal is successful you will be refunded any money you have overpaid. Any proposal must be made within six months of you becoming the responsible person for council tax at your property; however the Valuation Office may consider late applications.
Go to the Valuation Office website for more information www.voa.gov.
For more information about Council Tax you can download the leaflet ‘Your council tax 2012-2013’. Whohastopaythecounciltax00 PDF format

Appeals

In addition to banding issues you may appeal if:
  • you have been billed for council tax but do not believe you are responsible for paying the tax as you do not fall into one of the owner/occupier categories given above
  • you have claimed a discount or exemption and this has been refused
  • you think any item on your bill has been calculated incorrectly.
To appeal about these matters, please write to

Isle of Wight Council
Revenues Division
Council Offices
Broadway
Sandown
Isle of Wight
PO36 9EA

Please mark your letter 'APPEAL'. We should respond to your appeal within two months. If you are not satisfied with the response, or you do not get a reply, you may apply to a tribunal to hear your appeal. Certain time limits apply. Full details can be obtained from the council tax office.
Making an appeal/proposal does not allow you to withhold payment of your Council Tax.
 

How to contact us

Telephone - 01983 823901 (Lines are open between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday).

E-mail - council.tax@iow.gov.uk

Fax - 01983 823900

Write to us at
Isle of Wight Council
Revenues Division
Council Offices
Broadway
Sandown
Isle of Wight
PO36 9EA
Opening hours are 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and Fridays, 8.30am to 4.30pm
Closed all day Tuesday



Page last updated on: 16/04/2012