How to challenge your Council Tax listing

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is a government body in England and Wales and an executive agency of HMRC. The Agency values properties for the purpose of Council Tax and for non-domestic rates in England and Wales. The council tax bands were set on 1 April 1991 for England, and on 1 April 2003 for Wales and range from Band A – F.

If you believe that your council tax listing is incorrect, you can challenge this with the VOA. A new version of the Council Tax challenge form to submit to your council tax listing has recently been published. This form is used if you believe that your council tax band is wrong. An appeal against your current band can be made online for various reasons.

This includes:

  • You disagree with an alteration to your properties banding made by the VOA.
  • You are new to the property in question and feel the valuation band too high or low.
  • The property is no longer a dwelling.
  • The property is new or has only recently become used for domestic purposes.
  • Change in a property e.g. flats merged into a house of vice versa.
  • The valuation band does not take into account a relevant decision of a local Valuation Tribunal or the High Court.

When submitting the form, you should include the reasons why you think the Valuation List should be altered, and include documentary evidence where possible. You can also appoint someone else to challenge your council tax listing on your behalf.

If you live in Scotland, then you need to use the Scottish Assessors portal website to check your Council Tax band and if necessary lodge a claim with them (known as a proposal).

Will I pay tax when coming to the UK?

The statutory resident test (SRT) is used to determine if someone is resident in the UK for tax purposes when coming to the UK. Historically, residence in the UK was determined by being in the UK in excess of 182 days in any tax year (6 April to 5 April) or by being resident in the UK for an average of 91 days in any tax year, taking the average of the tax year in question and the three previous tax years.

This changed with the introduction of the SRT from 6 April 2013. The SRT consists of the three separate tests which are intended to provide greater certainty as to a taxpayers residency status. For the majority of taxpayers, it will be clear that they are resident in the UK if they:

  • spend 183 or more days in the UK in the tax year
  • have a home in the UK, and don’t have a home overseas
  • work full-time in the UK over a period of 365 days

However, for taxpayers with complex circumstances there are further tests using the SRT that provide more clarity as to their residency status in the UK.

The three tests which comprise the SRT are as follows:

  1. An automatic non-residence test.
  2. An automatic residence test.
  3. A ‘sufficient ties’ test.

Planning note

There are also special rules for those coming to work in the UK as an employee or as a self-employed person, as well as a special scheme for taxing the income of foreign entertainers and sportspersons who come to perform in the UK.

If you are concerned with your UK tax status, please call for advice.

Tax Diary August/September 2018

1 August 2018 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2017.

19 August 2018 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2018)

19 August 2018 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2018.

19 August 2018 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2018 is payable by today.

1 September 2018 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2017.

19 September 2018 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2018)

19 September 2018 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2018.

19 September 2018 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 September 2018 is payable by today.

Requirement to correct tax due on overseas assets

The Requirement to Correct (RTC) legislation created a new statutory obligation for taxpayers with undeclared UK tax liabilities that involve offshore matters. The RTC applies to any person with undeclared UK Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and/or Inheritance Tax liability concerning offshore matters or transfers relating to offshore tax non-compliance committed before 6 April 2017.

Information that is required to be provided to HMRC under the RTC rules must be provided to HMRC by 30 September 2018. This date coincides with the date when more than 100 countries will exchange data on financial accounts under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). This data will significantly enhance HMRC’s ability to detect offshore non-compliance and it is in taxpayers’ interests to correct any non-compliance before that data is received.

Once the deadline ends, any new disclosure will be subject to the new Failure To Correct (FTC) penalties which are more punitive that the existing RTC penalties. Also, taxpayers risk being publicly named and shamed. The FTC standard penalty will start at 200% of any tax liability not disclosed under the RTC and cannot be reduced to less than 100% even with mitigation.

Any taxpayers that are unsure as to whether or not they need to make a disclosure are strongly encouraged to check their tax position. The RTC rules are very complex and we can help review any historic issues and advise and assist with making any necessary disclosures to HMRC. A disclosure can be made using the Worldwide Disclosure Facility or possibly using alternative disclosure methods which may be more suitable. HMRC’s guidance on making a disclosure, deadlines and penalty reductions under the RTC has been updated.

Low emission lorries to pay lower levies

The government has confirmed plans to introduce a lower rate of the HGV road user levy for lorries that meet the latest Euro VI emissions standards. This measure is intended to incentivize vehicle operators to move towards newer, cleaner vehicles and to reduce emissions from HGVs and improve air quality. Lorries which meet the Euro VI standard produce 80% less nitrogen oxide emissions than many older vehicles.

Lorries that do not meet the latest emissions standard will pay a higher rate of the HGV road user levy. The changes are set to come into force on 1 February 2019. The levy was first introduced in 2014 to help ensure that those using heavy lorries on UK roads bore some responsibility for the wear and tear caused as well as the environmental impact.

The HGV levy is currently up to £10 a day or £1,000 a year and must be paid by all HGVs with a revenue weight of 12 tonnes and over before they use UK roads. The new measure will reduce the levy for Euro VI compliant HGVs by 10%. The levy will be increased for other vehicles by 20% except in cases where the levy is already set at its maximum rate allowable under European legislation.