Freeman on the Land - Council Tax

Being a 'freeman' does not exempt any person from paying Council Tax.

The freeman on the land movement and similar groups, commonly believe that they are bound only by statute laws they consent to. Being a 'freeman' does not exempt any person from paying Council Tax.

The liability to pay council tax falls under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and later regulations. 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 therefore not optional and not something you consent to.

If you are liable to pay council tax, you must make your payments.

Any reference to a person not having consented or there being a contractual relationship between the council has no legal basis.

Contacting us

While we do our best to answer all relevant enquiries about Council Tax, we will not respond to lengthy enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments that have no legal basis which use our resources at the expense of other taxpayers.

Legal Advice

There are many internet sources which contain misleading information and incorrect advice relating to 'freeman of land' defences.  The correct legislation is freely available from the government website Legislation.gov.uk and includes:

If you have any concerns over the charging of your Council Tax, please seek proper legal advice.  Find out about where you can get free advice if you are struggling to pay or about qualified lawyers in our area, from the Law Society.

Freeman on the Land FAQ

I'm a Freeman on the Land and I am not liable

Being a Freeman on the Land does not mean someone can choose which laws they adhere to and which to ignore.

The liability to pay Council Tax falls under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and later regulations. This is a statute created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom which has received the assent of the Crown.

What will happen if I withhold payment of my Council Tax

Anyone who withholds payment will have recovery action taken against them.

In extreme cases this could even lead to committal proceedings, or even a prison sentence, as in the Manchester Magistrates' Court vs McKenzie (2015) case, where an individual who attempted to use similar 'freeman on the land' defences in court ended up in prison for 40 days. 

If you have any concerns over the charging of Council Tax, please seek proper legal advice, rather than relying on internet sources or forum statements which may be incorrect or misleading.

Can the local authority provide a contract signed by both parties

Council Tax is a creature of statute therefore a contract is not required. Any reference to the Companies Act, Unfair Contract Terms Act, Bills of Exchange Act or any other acts regarding companies or contracts is irrelevant.

Can the local authority provide confirmation that the debt exists lawfully

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.

The issue of a Council Tax Demand Notice (the bill) creates the debt. A signature or agreement from a resident is not necessary for Council Tax: it is a tax, not a contract.

Can you provide documents that have a 'wet ink' signature

A signature is not necessary for the billing of Council Tax and no wet ink signature is mandatory on a court summons either.  Previous case law has clarified that the use of a rubber stamp or electronic signature are both valid for the purpose of the court signing a summons.

Please can you send me your VAT details/provide a VAT invoice

Council Tax is deemed outside the scope of VAT therefore we are unable to provide a VAT invoice. Uttlesford District Council's VAT number is 214 442 204.

Please can you state whether you are a company or a corporation

Uttlesford District Council is a local authority within the Public Sector and as such is not a company or a corporation and does not have a company number.

Enforcement via the Magistrates Court & Court Fees

Non payment of Council Tax is enforced by way of an application for a Liability Order under Reg 34 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992. It is not a civil debt and there is no power to negotiate a settlement for a lesser sum.

A fee is payable to the Court prescribed under the Magistrates Courts Fees (Amendment) Order 2014. It is in the sum of 50p for each individual application and the Council has no control over the manner in which HM Court and Tribunal Service expend these monies.