Council Tax and Full Timers

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
#1
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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST

I refer to your email dated 13th September 2007.


I confirm that the Valuation Office Agency has no knowledge of the content of your email, has no information concerning this subject and has not been involved in discussions concerning the taxing of Motor homes.

I would point out, however, that under existing rules, a motor home qualifies as a caravan under existing legislation*. If such a caravan is used as a permanent sole or main residence, and is located on a recognised pitch, and the vehicle always returns to that pitch, then the pitch will fall to be treated as a dwelling for Council Tax purposes. Similarly, if such a vehicle became permanently located on such a site, the pitch together with the caravan would be treated as the dwelling.

The treatment of caravans for Council Tax purposes is published in the Council Tax Manual Practice Note 7 available on the VOA website. (http://vo.inrev.gov.uk/TheLibrary/CT...tml#P265_18949)

That scenario appears to be different from the content of your email.

Yours sincerely

Justin Giles
Justin Giles
Council Tax (Technical)
Valuation Office Agency

* A caravan is defined in section 66(7) of the LGFA 1988 by reference to Part I of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. That Act, as amended, by S.13 of The Caravan Sites Act 1968, provides that:
“Caravan” means any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted…..”

It would appear that if you habitually return to the same pitch, on the same site, throughout the year, then the pitch and your motorhome become liable for Council Tax as a residence. If however you move about using various sites then you are not.

Caravans that are used as second homes are liable for council tax if they are occupied or capable of being occupied for more than 11 months in a year. Caravans on a site that closes even for 1 month in the year are not liable for council tax even though the caravan does not move from the pitch.
 
#2
"Caravans on a site that closes even for 1 month in the year are not liable for council tax even though the caravan does not move from the pitch."

This is simply not true. When our static was on our previous site which closed for two months, The local council said that only applies if you have another address on which you pay council tax (hence a lot of sites now demanding to see a coucil tax bill before they will sell you a static).
The rule is, if your van is your ONLY residence then it is liable for council tax. ;)
 

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
#4
"Caravans on a site that closes even for 1 month in the year are not liable for council tax even though the caravan does not move from the pitch."

This is simply not true. When our static was on our previous site which closed for two months, The local council said that only applies if you have another address on which you pay council tax (hence a lot of sites now demanding to see a coucil tax bill before they will sell you a static).
The rule is, if your van is your ONLY residence then it is liable for council tax. ;)
I stand corrected. When a friend of mine was living in a van on an 11 month site in Northumberland he told me that that was what the case. He went to stay with his sister in February others on site took a holiday abroard. Looks like things have changed since then.
 

MicknPat

Active Member
#5
Correct me if I'm wrong but Council Tax is a levy on a dwelling NOT a person or its occupants? So if that is correct, if I give my relative who's address I use £10 have I paid my CT?

If my relative say pays £1,000 per annum CT for a Band A dwelling regardless of how many reside there the CT will still be £1,000 :confused:
 
#6
Correct me if I'm wrong but Council Tax is a levy on a dwelling NOT a person or its occupants? So if that is correct, if I give my relative who's address I use £10 have I paid my CT?

If my relative say pays £1,000 per annum CT for a Band A dwelling regardless of how many reside there the CT will still be £1,000 :confused:
If you are on the voters role at that address , and LIVE at that address .. yes..
but if it's only for mail and registering your van , insurance etc, .. ie. a c/o address, then you would be telling a lie.. would you not ?

The ambition of most fulltimers and this association, is to be 100% legal without resorting to telling lies. .. no matter how small.. a lie is a lie and will catch you out.. sooner or later.
 
#7
If you are on the voters role at that address , and LIVE at that address .. yes..
but if it's only for mail and registering your van , insurance etc, .. ie. a c/o address, then you would be telling a lie.. would you not ?

The ambition of most fulltimers and this association, is to be 100% legal without resorting to telling lies. .. no matter how small.. a lie is a lie and will catch you out.. sooner or later.
This is very interesting a friend of mine an ex sevice man who was retired from the army through injury and is 60years old does not have to pay council tax because he is claiming pension credit ,does that mean that any one claiming this benifit even if a fulltimer is exempt from council tax ?
 
#8
This is very interesting a friend of mine an ex sevice man who was retired from the army through injury and is 60years old does not have to pay council tax because he is claiming pension credit ,does that mean that any one claiming this benifit even if a fulltimer is exempt from council tax ?
Presently housing benefit is means tested by the local authority, so I assume if they say your situation warranted the payment of council tax, you could apply just like anyone else.
 
#9
Presently housing benefit is means tested by the local authority, so I assume if they say your situation warranted the payment of council tax, you could apply just like anyone else.
A few years back,approx 7,i split up from my partner and moved into my mates yard and garage in my old camper,i was visited by the Councils Tax people,to enquire what i was doing and did i pay council tax.
I said that my friend,pays 'business tax' and has kindly allowed me to stay several nights a week (which i did)and that other nights,I ,if i wished could go visit family,friends or go on short holiday breaks,and that i paid my 'ROAD TAX,had mot and Insurance,yes i did 'live' in the vehicle as it was a 'motorHOME',and i would be living like this for the foreseeable future,they didn't like it,because 'i didn't belong in the box' of 'normality' and was 'getting away with something.
But could do nothing or charge me,as i was moving around and wasn't fixed to a site,they even asked me where i disposed of my rubbish and other waste,i said at a public convenience and the same for rubbish. as it's for the ...'public',and until i'mnot classed as a person or 'public' i shall carry on,all with a friendly pleasing nature of course,although they were 'prying into my life' even asking very private questions,they gave up when i offered them a cuppa.
 

fgf

Active Member
#10
I meet people sometimes who when I tell them of my lifestyle, one of the common comments is "So you get away without paying ccouncil tax?" Sometimes it's with vicarious pride in my perceived achievement, more often than not it's with clear envy. The fact that they see me as avoiding a particulalrly hated tax is another reason some people don't want to accept us.

One of the things in British psyche is to put down those who have what you don't, instead of aspiring to it or respecting your choices.
In fact it would probably be cheaper to pay it than constantly move, however the constantly moving is part of the attraction of the lifestyle. Sadly a lot of British people are quite parochial and narrow minded still compared to other countries.
 
#11
Payment isn't a problem,in a way,if the provisions were laid out countrywide for motorhomers,but it isn't and again,the UK is a supposedly a FREE country,where many people have died for that freedom,we should have 'freedom of choice'.
If I want a small house or a big house,to live in a nice area or an ordinary area,to live in a bedsit or appartment,its all choices,and Council Taxes for each,some members will have ,one of these AND a motorhome,others CHOOSE to have a only a motorhome,we shouldn't be penalized for that choice.
We pay a tax of sorts anyway,that some home owners dont,we pay ROAD TAX and FUEL TAX,we also pay FOOD TAX and several other 'living taxes',as for the emptyng of waste/rubbish and water,that would be paid for by a 'SMALL' entrance/stay fee at a,hopefully UK Aire .
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#12
we do have freedom of choice . nobody takes the choice away from us . what most do is make the wrong choice. .then follow it with a worse choice. and possible have been making bad choices all their lives. w can live in a m,home nobody is stopping anybody from doing it.there is a big community of people that cant accept there own choice and like to say they have no choice. many have made that many bad choices here that they then go to live abroad and carry on making the wrong choices i find the uk a very nice place to live the word free is not about not having to pay .we can and do have freedom of choice within the laws of the country. we cant ask coucil tax payers to supply us with aires . if we want to live in a motorhome and not pay council tax. we could pay a fe to use them .but it would probably be too high for many to use. the french aires are not set up for continuous living in and many have time limits.we must not mix living full time with the holiday m,homers .its a different thing altogether. there are traveller sites set up for transiant folk . unfortunately most would call them gypsy sites.
 
#13
We pay a tax of sorts anyway,that some home owners dont,we pay ROAD TAX and FUEL TAX,we also pay FOOD TAX and several other 'living taxes',as for the emptyng of waste/rubbish and water,that would be paid for by a 'SMALL' entrance/stay fee at a,hopefully UK Aire .
It's a FREE country but it's not free to provide the services that council tax pays for.. police, fire brigade, recycling, refuse collection, schools, leisure centres, park and ride schemes, road maintenance, parks and open spaces, street cleaning, public toilets etc ..
You or I may not use all of these services and as a fulltimer perhaps fewer .. do you expect to have them FREE.?

We really can't expect taxes payed by householders to provide facilities for full timers ..

Perhaps the way forward is for fulltime living vehicles to have a seperate council tax disc and the revenue raised payed to central government. In return councils could provide aires with facilities which fulltimers could use FOC while others would have to pay..
 

fgf

Active Member
#14
Actually you got me thinking now Jim, is it a free country? What is free? If we are free in what way are we? I'd be keen to debate this.
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#15
this same problem as been around for years the faiground people have their showman society the gypsy,s have their own council. as full time motorhomers there are needs that are very similar to both the above . there are very similar circumstances . showmen need a yard to return in winter to offer repair and maintenance to equipment and vehicles so do m,homers . a quick observation of the rules can give us ways forward to have m,home fulltime sites around the country .the only thing is they end up being a cross between campsites and gypsy sites . ie. vehicles under repair left to one side etc. a big shed /workshop also being required . we do have to find the balance of being a m,homer using an aire type facility or a permanent nontraveller . if you arent travelling you may just as well have a static caravan. then you fit into a different class. we have to be very carefull what steps we take to make it better for the fulltimer . are they going to move around or just live in a m,home . two different classes of people. if we get it wrong it can become a very undesirable life for us. lots of real discusion is required to get the ideal world . aires are great if you keep moving but if you stay too long it spoils it for others . many are trapped abroad because they didnt think it through and got it wrong . there are alot in uk .many have gone back into housing because travelling life isnt always what it first seems .we do have some rules to obey. unfortunately the socity we live in will always seem to dislike thinking people that live out of the box.
 
#16
As a homeowner and 'tax-payer for 30 odd years,i think I and others who have taken up Motorhoming,or even 'fulltiming' have paid thier dues,I am not saying it should be FREE,i am stating we should have a CHOICE,wether we stay in an Aire or not,provided by councils and the tax payer,for TAX PAYERS,it also brings in more revenue from European motorhomers,I dont think your reading my posts properly or i'm not explaing myself correctly ?
The same applies to the post above,ifyour staying in an Aire,run by the Authority (not private) your paying towards it's use,and what goes with it...like i said refuse etc,your also providing jobs.Road repair,as mentioned,suppose to come from Road tax...
I even said that Council tax would be swallowable ,if 'Motorhomers' were provided for , but you seemed to miss that one,i really cant see us moving forward with ideas,if you as Motorhomers or FULLTIMERS keep putting yourselves down or thinking in thier terms,without thinking 'outside the box' and stating what we should be aiming for,or do you want to carry on ,as you are and as your treated,if so,why be on this site ?It is for taking action and re-thinking,putting forward new ideas/thoughts for 'fulltimers' isn't it ?
By the way,are you ' born into fulltiming' or did it take you many years or retirement to enjoy it,if so,you've paid your way !!!time to enjoy it,like you should and like 'other' European travellers do.
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#17
gary .we can leave ,we can return. we can speak about what we want . we can change jobs we can start a business we can do many things that are termed free .we can write we can do so many things that in the past others havent been able to do. there is hardly a country in the world we cant visit and all i can say is if you think we arent free then you are in a world somewhere else. just asking the question are we free shows we are . no offence meant .but we are so free most dont even know it. but much comes back to choices not freedom. we can even stand for election to run the country ,how free do you want to be. its our choices in life that take away the freedom. make the right choices you can be free. cheers alan.
 
#18
By the time i had written that lot,twoposts have been left,iwas answering 'Jims'post and Allan's,slightly.
As for staying at Aires , what is expected inEuropean Aires,is there a time limit ?1 to 3 days perhaps,as your not in a 'static' your in a mobilehome,and is intended tobe used,for that purpose,even though 'fulltiming',it doesn't mean you end up,parking upfor 6 months atime,if so,get a caravan or 'static'......which is a totally different consept and should be stated and thought of in this way.
 
#19
.many have gone back into housing because travelling life isnt always what it first seems .we do have some rules to obey. unfortunately the socity we live in will always seem to dislike thinking people that live out of the box.
Yes indeed Alan, it's not as many, myself included, imagine.

Life goes on, bills have to be paid , money has to be found .. it's not a 'holiday without end' as many imagine.. it's a whole new lifestyle that many find alien and don't adapt to easily, if at all.
We left our nomadic ways thousands of years ago but deep inside our very genes is the nomad trying to escape.. this is the Dream nomad ..
 
#20
Another thought or question to you,Council tax is for people residing in the UK,so what if your 'fulltiming' in Europe,travelling from country to country,are we/they expected to pay this tax ?Pleasedont presume that we all live or travell/fulltime,just in blighty,this is a European thing !
 

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