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Part 5: Supply of Information from Council Tax Lists

VO letters and forms which are not included as appendices are available as MS Word Templates

5.1 Background

S.28 of LGFA 92 contains the provisions governing the right of access by the public to copies of CT Lists and the facility to take extracts and request copies of the information.

The LO and the BA are both required to allow such access and, if necessary, to provide extracts. This part deals only with the LO's duties.

5.2 Council Tax Lists on the Internet

The public have had access to Council Tax Lists via the VOA’s website since June 2002. This utilises the CT Internet Valuations Lists (IVL) software which also allows for proposals to be submitted electronically (see Section 3, Part 1).

The software enables taxpayers to enquire on their band, and is in line, broadly speaking, with the similar service provided for the Rating Lists. It provides the following facilities:-

(i) it enables users to search the CT list of a selected BA by entering specific search details or by selecting from a range of parameters;

(ii) it enables users to scroll through banding records retrieved on-screen a page at a time. The number of entries displayed on a single page can be customised by the user;

(iii) it enables users to print a page of records in a ‘printer friendly’ format;

(iv) it details all current ‘live’ bandings, together with a complete history of previous banding records;

(v) it identifies where a current banding has a logged CR10 report;

(vi) it incorporates links to BA websites to enable users to access these sites;

(vii) it is completely bilingual (English/Welsh) and enables users to search for and view details in their chosen language, regardless of where the dwelling is situated.

The data is refreshed every two weeks, usually immediately after the generation of the Schedules of Alterations. The current band details, therefore, always reflect changes included in the last Schedule.

The corporate website has been updated and includes a link to Directgov which also gives access to council tax information and gives the taxpayer, or a representative, the facility to check a CT band or submit a challenge.

5.3 Supply of Information in Hard Copy

Guidance on the supply of information has changed since the publication on the VOA website of the Council Tax lists for England and Wales. Although the necessity for supplying hard copy extracts is now considered largely redundant, the standing instructions relating to the pre 2002 situation may apply in rare circumstances as outlined below.

5.4 Hard Copy Extracts

Extracts of not more than 20 pages can be supplied by a LO in two ways:-

(i) by providing a print out of the relevant pages of the Lists and/or Schedules of Alterations;

(ii) by providing a formal Extract, of 20 pages or less, of the Council Tax List signed by the LO. This can only be initiated following a written request.

No charge should be made for such extracts.

5.5 Formal Extracts

The LO may receive requests in writing for formal extracts from Lists. Contact the Data Strategy Team and Customer Services for current information relating to the provision of documents.

Before complying, the LO must ensure that form VO7470 from MS Word Template is completed. This signifies that the customer understands that a charge is to be made and it will form part of the audit trail.

The form can be completed in the reception area by personal callers, but must be posted to anyone who makes their initial request in writing.

Following receipt of the completed VO7470 and the payment (see paragraph 5.6 below), the LO should complete VO7471, also from MS Word Template.

The extract must be checked and signed by or on behalf of the LO, dated and sent to the person who requested it. A copy should be retained, stapled to the request form VO7470 and filed in a separate binder for audit and statistical purposes.

5.6 Charges

No information is to be supplied until the fee has been received. Customer Services can advise on current charges.

A receipt VO8344 must be made out and sent to the customer when the fee has been received.

5.7 Requests for full Council Tax Lists

A decision has been taken by DCLG that full CT Lists may not be sold or passed on to members of the general public.

All such requests must therefore be refused. In cases of difficulty CEO Customer Services should be consulted. Click here to send an email to the Customer Service Inbox

5.8 Statements of Numbers and Bands

A statement of Numbers and Bands (i.e. the total number of properties in each band within a specific Billing Authority) in the CT List is produced as part of the generation of each Schedule of Alterations and of each full CT List. As this does not show bands for individual or identified dwellings, a photocopy can be supplied free of charge to any member of the public who requests it.

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