Challenges to the legality of Council Tax

Common questions and extra information

Ealing council has a responsibility to bill and collect council tax.

Here are the most common questions or requests we receive about the legality of council tax, but this does not mean it introduces a fiduciary relationship (a situation in which one person justifiably places confidence and trust in someone else and seeks that person's help or advice in some matter).

Provide an autographed lawful contract with you, with both of our/my signature(s)

Council tax is not collected or due under a contract. It is a tax collected by the council as a public authority under the legislation already referred to. So, any reference to the Companies Act, Contracts Act, Bills of Exchange Act or other acts about companies or contracts is not relevant.

A variation of this question is ‘Please provide evidence that I’ve agreed with you that you can collect an alleged debt from me.’

This is not significant, as there has not been an exchange of contracts or agreement. Neither is required for the levy and recovery of council tax.

Provide evidence that I am lawfully obliged to pay council tax

Who is considered to be the liable party can be viewed in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 c14 Part 1, Chapter 1, Sections 6-9. Individual agreement of this is not necessary.

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 not relevant for the purposes of council tax. Council tax is charged and payable by whoever the liable party is, determined by reference to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

Provide confirmation the debt exists

The issue of a council tax demand notice (the bill) creates the debt. A signature or agreement from a resident is not necessary for council tax: it is a tax, not a contract.

Provide documents containing a wet ink signature

A signature is not necessary for the billing of council tax. Neither is a wet ink signature mandatory on a court summons. Previous case law has clarified that the use of a rubber stamp or electronic signature are both valid to the court signing a summons.

I’m a Freeman on the Land and am not liable

Being a Freeman on the Land does not mean someone can choose which laws they adhere to and which to ignore. The legislation relating to council tax will still apply to you. Case law confirms that this is not a valid reason to not pay council tax, Manchester magistrates’ court Vs McKenzie (2015).

Provide your VAT details or provide a VAT invoice

Council tax is deemed outside the scope of VAT and we are unable to provide a VAT invoice.

State whether you are a company or a corporation

Ealing council is a local authority within the public sector and does not have a company number.

Please evidence where I have given my consent authorising Ealing council to hold my data

The council does not need consent to process data that is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in exercise of a function, conferred by an enactment or rule of law. The billing and collection of council tax is a function conferred on the Council by the legislation stated before. Please see Article 6 (c) and (e) of the UK GDPR legislation.

Provide evidence of which companies Ealing council has shared personal data with

The council will share details of liability orders with debt collection agents to recover monies owed. Personal data may also be shared to detect or prevent fraud. Further information about data sharing can be found at:

Provide a true bill that complies with the Bills of Exchange Act 1882

The council follows and complies with the requirements of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and council tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

If a liability order is granted without my presence, consent and opportunity to bring all of the above to the attention of those concerned and involved I will have no choice but to seek lawful advice with regards to proceeding with a claim for fraud against those involved

If you have a dispute about the granting of a Liability Order against you then you need to take this up with the Magistrates’ Court. You will need to explain why you feel Ealing council has not followed the correct process and apply for your liability order to be set aside.

I only accept legitimate communication through a recognised official service that needs to be sent following universal postal union convention rules. I do not accept any other forms of communications. This includes bailiff action, using private organisations, hand delivered or electronic notices

You should not ignore council tax communications, as Ealing council will take action to recover arrears, read our what happens if you don't pay your council tax page for more information.

Where a liability order was granted, I need a copy of the liability order

Following the Magistrates’ Court Hearing at which Liability Orders are granted, a full list of those granted is produced. The list contains the names and addresses of those charge payers against whom an order was granted together with the amount they owe. This list is produced, and an electronic copy is kept by both the council and the Magistrates’ Court in which the orders were granted.

The granting of a Liability Order is a legal process and is not a document. The council notifies everyone who has a Liability Order made against them under the legislation.

I would like to see information for where the council tax funding is being spent.

Council budgets and spending is stated within our website please read the Council budgets and spending page

What is Ealing Council’s Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) identification number

Ealing Council has the number 211049515 and further information as to the potential use of this identifier can be found within the Dun & Bradstreet website directly, under supporting government agendas.