Reply To: Change in Council Tax Liability – Late notified change


My feeling is that where the Regs make specific provision for two different kinds of change, they should not be conflated. In CTB, there are different paragraphs in Reg 67 governing the effective date of:

– a change in the amount of tax
– a change in discount or disability reduction
– arrival of a partner
– death of/separation from a partner

In many cases, the latter two will coincide with the former, and the effective date of both will almost certainly be the same, but the Regs are clear: two separate changes.

The arrival or departure of a non-dependant is a change that will nearly always affect the amount of CTB, but will often not affect the amount of CT payable (because there are at least two other people in the household). Therefore the specific rules on a change in the amount of tax or discount cannot cover all non-dep scenarios. It follows that the arrival/departure of a non-dep, together with the immediate non-dep deduction implications, must fall under the generality of Reg 67(1). Any “linked” change in the amount of discount, if it happens, must be a separate change of circumstance.

In the language of adjudication, as regards the amount of tax eligible for benefit the presence or absence of a non-dependant is a secondary fact which influences the primary fact of whether there is a discount. CTB decision makers are only concerned with primary facts – how much tax is this person liable to pay, and should there be a non-dep deduction from it? If the amount of the discount changes, that is a change in circumstance affecting the primary fact of tax liability; if a non-dep leaves that is a change of circumstance affecting the primary facts that govern non-dep deductions.