Challenges to the legality of Council Tax

The status of being a 'freeman' does not exempt anyone from their obligation to pay Council Tax.

Freeman on the land

There are many misleading articles and templates on the internet regarding the legality of Council Tax. You must not confuse law relating to contracts and alleged rights under common law with the legislation in relation to the administration and collection of Council Tax. 

Being a ‘freeman’ does not exempt any person from paying Council Tax. Council Tax is not optional and is not something you consent to. Council Tax is based on whether there is a chargeable dwelling and liability is based on a person(s) responsibility for the dwelling. 

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

We encourage you to seek reputable legal advice before using the defence of contract, consent, and common law against Council Tax liability. 

Common freeman questions we receive

Commonly asked questions include.

Provide an autographed lawful contract with you, with both of our autographs

Some residents consider that Council Tax is a contract and requires a legal contract and signatures indicating an agreement. As already explained, Council Tax is a creature of statute, and a contract is not required. Therefore, any reference to the Companies Act, Contracts Act, Bills of Exchange Act or other acts regarding companies or contracts is irrelevant

Provide evidence that I’ve agreed with you that you can lawfully collect an alleged debt from me

This is inconsequential, as there hasn’t 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

The hierarchy of who is considered to be the liable party is contained in the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Individual agreement of this is not necessary.

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.

Provide confirmation the debt exists lawfully

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 and no wet ink signature is mandatory on a court summons either. Previous case law has clarified that the use of a rubber stamp or electronic signature are both valid for the purpose of the court signing a summons.

Send us your VAT details and provide a VAT invoice

It should be noted, 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

Westmorland and Furness Council is a local authority within the Public Sector and does not have a company number.

Contact the Council Tax team