Council Tax and Freeman on the Land
The Freeman on the Land movement and similar are under the misapprehension that they are only bound by contracts and laws they have consented to.
They should not confuse the law relating to contracts and alleged rights under common law with the legislation relating to the administration and collection of Council Tax.
How your Council Tax is spent
Each year we publish details About your Council Tax and how it is spent. This also contains details of spending on the police, fire and other emergency services, as well as:
- Social services
- Rubbish and recycling
- Find out more on the Council services – who does what page
Liability for Council Tax is determined in accordance with the statutory regulations and liability for this is confirmed by the Council Tax demand notice issued for each year.
It should be noted, Council Tax is deemed outside the scope of VAT and we are unable to provide a VAT invoice. Our VAT number is GB247501374.
Epping Forest District Council is a local authority within the Public Sector and does not have a company number.
Council Tax liability
Liability for Council Tax is determined by the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the subsequent regulations. It is not contingent upon a person’s consent or the existence of a contractual relationship with the council.
Any assertion that a person is required to consent or to enter into a contract with the Council and this precludes their liability to pay Council Tax is incorrect in law and there is no legal basis upon which to make such an argument.
Liability to pay Council Tax is determined by the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992. This gives local authorities the right to demand Council Tax which is used to fund essential local services.
The legislation that covers Council Tax is freely available from the Government website Legislation.gov.uk including:
- Local Government Finance Act 1992
- Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
- Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011
Some residents have questioned whether they are obliged to abide by Acts and Statutes and about the difference between a Statute and Law and other similar questions regarding legal matters. In essence, Acts of Parliaments are Statutes which set out the law; however, if you have questions regarding Acts of Parliament or laws we would suggest these should be directed to a legal professional, not the council.
If you want legal advice we would recommend contacting a solicitor for specific legal advice. Failure to pay your Council Tax is a criminal offence and could have serious consequences if you chose not to pay. You can find details of qualified lawyers in our area from the Law Society website.
Beware of misleading articles online
There are many misleading articles and templates on the internet regarding the legality of Council Tax. Anyone drawing on these for advice should exercise caution and seek proper legal advice as before using them as defence against Council Tax liability based on contract, consent and common law.
Freeman on the land arguments have been considered and ruled against by the courts. For more information see:
We do our best to answer all relevant enquiries about Council Tax. We reserve the right to refuse to respond to lengthy spurious enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments that have no legal basis which use our resources at the expense of the taxpayer. This includes letters and notices served on the council’s chief executive with the same misleading reasoning.
How to correctly challenge and appeal your Council Tax bill
You have the right to challenge and appeal your council tax bill if you feel that any of the following apply:
- You should not be liable for Council Tax
- You believe your property should be exempt
- The amount charged is incorrect
- Your Council Tax Support is calculated incorrectly
- You consider a penalty has been applied incorrectly
Any appeal should initially be made in writing – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You must explain what you are appealing against and give the reasons why. The council will consider the reasons for your appeal and respond in writing. If you remain dissatisfied, you have a further right of appeal to an independent tribunal:
- Within 2 months of being notified of the council’s decision
- Or 2 months from your initial appeal, if no decision is made within that time
Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment or part payment of Council Tax; however, if your appeal is successful, any overpayment will be credited to your Council Tax account or refunded.
You also have the right to challenge your Council Tax band, providing certain criteria exists.