South Bucks District Council today issued the following warning about a scam.
WARNING OVER COUNCIL REBANDING TAX SCAM
Residents are being warned about private companies that are writing and cold calling residents saying that they have been over paying their Council Tax due to their property being in the wrong Council Tax Band.
The company will then say that the resident is entitled to a rebate and that they will challenge the Council on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. However many of these companies will ask for an upfront admin fee of around £175 when they visit the property to do an evaluation. If successful the company takes a cut of any resulting refund.
South Bucks District Council would like to point out that rebanding of a property can be done for free and by the resident without needing to go via a third party. Residents should be extremely cautious when dealing with these companies which are in no way connected or associated with the Council.
Councillor Duncan Smith, Portfolio holder for Resources said “Council Tax banding can be checked free of charge by contacting the Valuation Office Agency. We urge South Bucks residents who are approached by a third party to think very carefully before entering into an agreement with them. They are in no way associated with the Council and we would not make an approach like this or charge a fee for rebanding a property.”
The Valuation Office Agency website at www.voa.gov.uk provides very useful information on what to do if you disagree with the banding of your property. It also gives further details of Council Tax scams including a helpful list of do’s and don’ts.