Why you need to pay Council Tax

The legal requirement to impose and collect Council Tax

The legislation that compels Trafford Council to levy and collect Council Tax is freely available at legislation.gov.uk and is:

 Trafford Council must demand and collect Council Tax and those who are liable to pay it must do so.

Challenges to Council Tax – Freemen of the Land

The freedom of the land movement and other groups who are opposed to the payment of council tax frequently contend that they are not required to pay as they do not recognise statute law.

Non-payment of Council Tax will add costs to the amount you have to pay and can lead to you being sent to prison. Before you rely on the information circulated by those groups, read the information on this page and if necessary take independent legal advice from a solicitor or an official organisation such as Citizen’s Advice.

The examples below are some of the statements that are frequently made by these groups in order to support their stance of non-payment of Council Tax, together with explanations as to why these are not valid arguments.

I am a Freeman of the Land, I am not required to pay Council Tax

Declaring yourself to be a Freeman of the Land does not exempt you from paying council tax. The liability of a person to pay council tax is determined by the legislation we have referred to above.

The arguments that Freeman of the Land do not have to pay council tax have been determined by the Courts.

In the case of Manchester City Council v Mark McKenzie Mr McKenzie’s arguments were not accepted and he was sent to prison for non-payment of Council Tax.

I do not give my consent to hold and process my personal data 

The Council does not require the consent of those required to pay council tax and is entitled to hold and process the personal data of such persons in order to discharge its statutory duty pursuant to Article 6.1(c) of the General Data Protection Regulations.

You can find details of how we process your data on our website.

Trafford Council is registered under D-U-N-S and appears to be a not for profit company that is unable to demand Council Tax

Trafford Council is a council established by the Local Government Act 1972 and is not a company formed under the Companies Acts.

Trafford Council is required to establish a contract with me in order to collect Council Tax

Council Tax is a tax imposed upon persons who are liable to pay it under the authority of the Local Government Finance Act 1972. It is not a contract and therefore the Council does not have to demonstrate a contract exists, that there was relevant consideration or that you were properly invoiced under such a contract.

Further advice

Please note that much of the advice given about non-payment of Council Tax, that is circulating on social media and the internet from unofficial sources, is misleading and incorrect.  Following that advice is likely to cause additional costs to be added to your Council Tax debt and may lead to your imprisonment. You can get independent free advice about what to do if you are unable to pay your Council Tax from:

Citizens Advice 

Address: Sale Waterside, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF

Phone number: 0808 278 7803

Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm

National Debtline

Phone number: 0808 808 4000

Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm

Saturday 9.30am to 1pm.

Money Advice Service

Phone number: 033 0055 2902 (Freephone)

Monday to Friday 8am-7pm

Trafford Council will not respond to Freedom of Information Requests raising these issues.