Valuation Office Agency
Warning - bogus Council Tax refund scams
Be cautious about people claiming to be able to reduce your council tax band for a fee.
- Charging an up-front fee with an added 20% of the reduction should they successfully reduce your council tax band.
- Insisting you are definitely in the wrong band and are owed back payments on your Council Tax bill, when in fact your band is correct.
- Saying they are from the local council or VOA and asking for your bank details so they can provide a refund. The fraudsters will then steal money from the bank account.
- Claiming that the VOA charges you to challenge your Council Tax band; this is not correct, you can do this for free.
- Claiming that taxpayers must, by law, be represented by an agent to challenge their band, when in fact anyone can do this.
- Stating that they are on an approved list of agents recognised by the VOA, when in fact the VOA does not keep any such list.
How to avoid falling victim to this scam:
- Remember that you can have your band checked free of charge by Contact the Valuation Office Agency about Council Tax bands - GOV.UK
- Confirm over the phone with a cold-caller’s head office to check that they are legitimate. Ensure that if the cold-caller used the telephone, your last call ended properly before redialling the number,
- If you receive a call offering to reduce your band, make sure you are getting a dial-tone before calling the council or the VOA to check their story.
- Inform the police if you believe that anyone is impersonating staff from your local council or the VOA.
- Dial 999 if a doorstep cold-caller refuses to leave your home.
- Contact your local Trading Standards office if you feel you have been the victim of a Council Tax scam.
- Give your bank details to anyone.
- Let anyone into your home without seeing appropriate identification.
- Feel under pressure from a cold-caller to pay an immediate up-front fee. Take the time you need to think about it.
- Accept cold callers’ claims about your band without seeing evidence or proof of what they are claiming.
- Deal with anyone that is reluctant to give you their company address or contact details.
If you feel that your Council Tax band for your home is wrong, then all you have to do is contact the Valuation Office Agency and explain why you think it is incorrect. We will ask you to confirm that the details we hold about your home are correct. We will listen to your views and if, following a review, we agree that your band is wrong, we will change it. Please note that bands can occasionally go up as well as down.
Latest News from
Valuation Office Agency
Providing trade information for self-catering holiday lets13/02/2024 13:05:00
The VOA is asking some owners of self-catering holiday lets for further information about their property.
VOA launches new standards for agents30/01/2024 12:05:00
The VOA has a new set of standards that apply to all agents.
Council Tax reform in Wales15/11/2023 09:05:00
We’re asking for information about working farms and mobile homes.
Non-domestic rating: challenges and changes dummy statistical release03/08/2023 11:05:00
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has changed the way it presents statistics for the 2023 non-domestic rating lists.
Aim for 30% of the Welsh workforce to work remotely14/09/2020 13:10:00
The Welsh Government has stated its long-term ambition to see around 30% of Welsh workers working from home or near from home, including after the threat of Covid-19 lessens.
Avoid and report internet scams and phishing23/12/2016 16:10:00
Find out how to avoid scam emails and how to report fraudsters claiming to be from the VOA.
Planning blight and your Council Tax10/05/2016 16:20:00
Although property values can be affected by the expectation of changes in an area, a Council Tax band alteration cannot be considered until actual changes to the locality occur.