Each year we receive a number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, and other communications, relating to the legality of Council Tax. This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Which law states I must pay Council Tax?

Liability to pay Council Tax falls under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (legislation.gov.uk) and later regulations. This is a statute created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom and becomes law or `Act of Parliament’ when they receive Royal Assent. The information about who is liable to pay council tax can be found in Part 1, Chapter 1, Sections 6 -9.

The legislation that covers Council Tax is freely available from the government legislation website, including:

Can you provide evidence that you have the lawful and contractual authority to use the legal fictional name of “XXX” for the purposes of making money?

Whether a name is legal or fictional is irrelevant for the purposes of Council Tax. Council Tax is charged and is payable by whoever the liable party is, which is determined by reference to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

Can you provide a copy of the contract in which I agreed to pay Council Tax and that the terms and conditions are lawful?

Council Tax does not require a legal contract or signatures indicating an agreement.  Council Tax is a creature of statute, and a contract is not required.  Liability to pay Council Tax is set by The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 which gives local authorities the right to demand Council Tax which is used to fund essential local services.

Will you accept Promissory Notes or Conditional Trusts as a method of payment?

Valid forms of payment for Council Tax are stated on the reverse of bills issued. Promissory Notes or a Conditional Trust, will not be accepted, and recovery action will continue if balances remain outstanding.

Further details on how you can pay can be found here: Methods of payment – Rother District Council

On whose authority did you pass my personal data on to Enforcement Agents?

Information is shared with Civil Enforcement Agents for the purpose of the lawful collection of tax. The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

Processing of personal data is allowed if it is necessary for the controller to comply with a legal obligation. Article 6(1)(c) of the General Data Protection Regulations.

Are you are a company or a corporation?

Rother District Council is a Local Authority within the Public Sector and does not have a company number. 

Please provide a VAT invoice

Council Tax is deemed outside the scope of VAT and we do not need to provide a VAT invoice. 

Please provide documents containing a wet ink signature

A signature is not necessary for the billing of Council Tax and no wet ink signature is mandatory on a Court Summons.  Case law has clarified that the use of a rubber stamp or electronic signature is valid for the purpose of the Court signing a Summons.

Can you prove that the Council have given full disclosure of the services being offered?

Council Tax 2024/25 – Rother District Council

How is my personal data treated by Rother District Council?

Privacy Policy – Rother District Council

Please provide Rother District Council’s statement of accounts

Budgets and accounts – Rother District Council

Can you confirm if the Bill of Rights 1688 is current statue law?

Bill of Rights 1688 (legislation.gov.uk)

Freeman on the Land

The freeman on the land movement and similar groups believe that they are bound only by statute laws they consent to.

There are many misleading articles and templates on the internet about the legality of Council Tax. Anyone using these for advice should seek proper legal advice before using them as a defence against Council Tax liability based on contract, consent and common law.

Being a ‘freeman’ does not exempt anyone from paying Council Tax. Council Tax is not optional and not something you consent to. If you are liable to pay Council Tax, you must make your payments.

Your liability for Council Tax is not dependent on, and does not require, your consent or the existence of a contractual relationship with the Council. Any such assertion to the contrary is incorrect and there is no legal basis upon which to make this argument.

Anyone who withholds payment will have recovery action taken against them.  In extreme cases this could even lead to committal proceedings, or even a prison sentence.

If you have any concerns over the charging of Council Tax, please seek proper legal advice, rather than relying on internet sources or forum statements which may be incorrect or misleading.

We do our best to answer all relevant enquiries about council tax. However, we reserve the right to refuse to respond to lengthy spurious enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments that:

  • have no legal basis
  • ask for a personal opinion
  • ask for information that does not fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Such requests place a burden on our limited resources at the expense of other taxpayers. Please note this also includes letters, emails and notices served on our Chief Executive and other Senior Officers.

Help and Information

Useful information and help with Council Tax liability is available online and over the phone.

Citizens Advice

Phone 0800 144 8848

Online www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/council-tax/


Online www.gov.uk/council-tax-arrears

National Debtline

Phone: 0808 808 4000

Online www.nationaldebtline.org

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