The Freeman on the Land movement and similar groups, commonly believe that they are bound only by statute laws they consent to. However, contract law and alleged rights under common law are not the same as legislation relating to the administration and collection of Council Tax.

Being a ‘freeman’ does not exempt any person from paying Council Tax. You do not have a choice whether you are liable for Council Tax.

Regulations governing Council Tax

The liability to pay Council Tax falls under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and subsequent statutory regulations which set out a local authorities rights to demand Council Tax to fund services and who is liable to pay. This is a statute created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom which has received the assent of the Crown.

Liability to pay Council Tax is set by The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992. This gives local authorities the right to demand Council Tax which is used to fund essential local services.

Council Tax is not optional and not something you consent to and does not require the existence of a contractual relationship with the council. Any such assertion to the contrary is incorrect and there is no legal basis upon which to make this argument. If you are liable to pay Council Tax, you must make your payments. Anyone who withholds payment will have recovery action taken against them. Should a Council Tax summons be issued and you would like to dispute the summons, you can choose to attend the court hearing where you will be able to put your case forward to the magistrate(s).

There are many misleading articles and templates available on the internet regarding the legality of Council Tax. Anyone relying on these for advice should exercise caution and seek proper legal advice before using them as defence against Council Tax liability based on contract, consent and common law.

High Court rulings on Council Tax liability

A High Court case has effectively resolved the arguments around no contract/consent to pay Council Tax and the requirement for the issue of written Liability Orders/Court Orders.

In summary laws are considered binding, made by an elected Parliament on behalf of the whole country, therefore, no individual contract is required and it is both “impossible and inappropriate” to gain individual consent.

The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 do not require a written court issued Liability Order. The Leighton v Bristow & Sutor case refers to extracts from a “court list” paired with a signature certifying the number of Liability Orders made and this satisfies the High Court to conclude Liability Orders have indeed been made.

Valid forms of payment for council tax are stated on the reverse of bills issued. Promissory notes will not be accepted and recovery action will continue if balances remain outstanding.

Relevant legislation

The provision of local government and its functions are contained within the Local Government Act 1972.

The legislation that covers council tax is freely available from the Government Legislation website, including:

Liability for council tax is determined in accordance with the statutory legislation and liability for this is confirmed by the council tax demand notice issued each year. We have been asked whether Acts and Statutes are an obligation on residents, and about the difference between a Statute and Law and other similar questions regarding legal matters. Acts of Parliaments are Statutes which set out the law.

Questions about the law

If you have questions regarding other Acts of Parliament or laws, these should be directed to a legal professional, not us. Sometimes people are convinced that using an archaic law means they don’t have to pay council tax.

Whilst we do our best to answer all relevant enquiries about Council Tax, we reserve the right to refuse to respond to lengthy false enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments that have no basis in statute which use our resources at the expense of other tax payers.

Frequently asked questions