Local Council Award Scheme Quality

You are here: Homepage >> News & Information >> Have you received a call offering to change your council tax band?

Have you received a call offering to change your council tax band?

South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards - 18th February 2015

South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards is warning residents to be on their guard against companies who claim they can move you to a lower Council Tax band or get you a refund.

Officers in South Gloucestershire have received reports of residents in the area receiving unsolicited telephone calls advising them that they are in the wrong council tax band and, as a result, have been paying too much council tax. One caller claimed to be working with the local council.

In a previous but similar scam, residents received unsolicited telephone calls offering to arrange for a representative to visit the property to discuss potential council tax re-banding and refunds.

Typically this kind of company will charge an ‘upfront’ fee (or retain a percentage of any refund paid) to residents for providing this service. Charges may also be applied even when the appeal is unsuccessful.

It is also possible that a review of a property's Council Tax banding could result in it being moved to a higher tax band.
It is not illegal for a firm to charge a fee for making an application on your behalf to check your Council Tax banding is correct – but residents can do this themselves for free.

Anyone can check if they are in the correct band, or apply to have their Council Tax band reviewed, free of charge, by contacting the local Valuation Office Agency on 03000 501501 or visiting their website, www.voa.gov.uk

The VOA also produce a handy leaflet entitled, “What to do if you disagree with your council tax banding”, which is available on their website.

For further advice on telephone scams, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.