Council Tax: Your Guide 2015

This user-friendly guide has been updated for 2015, explaining all aspects of Council Tax, from banding and liability to exemptions, reductions and appeals. It is a perfect guide for those working in the field or those wishing to inform themselves about the tax and its implementation. 

The book covers the differences in the operation of Council Tax, which are noted throughout, in England, Scotland and Wales.

This publication is now available to order as a hard copy book from the IRRV website (click here)

or as a Kindle book from the Amazon Kindle store for the price of £6.47 (Incl. VAT).

To purchase online from the Amazon Kindle store, please click here 

IRRV 2015 Performance Awards

The 2015 Performance Awards Scheme looks to build upon the successful schemes of recent years.

There are eight categories; three ‘Team’ and five ‘Excellence’. 

7th October 2015 - Performance awards gala dinner 

More Information

Apply Now -Entries are welcomed from organisations in both the public and private sector. 

Pre-Examination Course Spring 2015

Keele 10th - 17th April 2015

The tutors are either full-time academics with respected educational establishments or professionals currently practising in their particular disciplines. All have sound experience of tutoring in their respective subjects and are familiar with the syllabus. A number are qualified members of the IRRV and active in the education field of the Institute.

The Spring Pre-Examination Course will again be held at Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG. There are excellent transport links to the University by road, rail and air.

More Information and Booking


Membership Directory

This Directory contains a full listing of IRRV Members throughout: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Worldwide

Additionally the Directory contains an A-Z listing of key suppliers in the following fields:

Collection and Enforcement, Council Tax Collection, Fraud and Investigation, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, Non-Domestic Rates, Rating Surveying, Recruitment, Software Suppliers, Sundry Debt Training Providers, Valuation

Go to Directory


IRRV Distance Learning

Achieve your potential with IRRV Distance Learning!

3 for 2 on multiple enrolments* 
We believe we have put together exciting and cutting edge qualifications, delivered via distance learning, a flexible solution for all your staff. These courses are aimed at improving the proficiency and professionalism of your employees, giving you the confidence that they will gain a more informed approach in their day to day operations. The advantages of our distance learning courses are manifold. These include the freedom to choose where and when to study, very competitive pricing, no travel cost for attending classes, online tuition by experts in their field, a generous two/three year timeframe in which to complete the course to suit busy employees and much more!

*This offer is valid on multiple bookings from the same organisation with a minimum of three candidates.

More Information

Publications Brochure 2015

Brochure Available

The brochure illustrates some of the of publications we currently offer. The Institute believes they are essential to anyone working within the profession; whether that be the public and / or private sector. 

All publications are regularly updated to incorporate new legislation, case law and guidance. 

More on our publications - Download Brochure

Jobs Online

Jobs Online is a web based job vacancy service offering organisations a platform from which to advertise their jobs throughout the UK to professionals in the fields of revenues, benefits and valuation. The site offers search facilities by location, salary level or area of interest for people looking for a job.

You can subscribe to Jobs online under the following price tiers:

  • Annual subscription  £1000
  • 6 months  £600
  • 3 months  £400

Have just one job to advertise? Rather than take out a subscription you can simply register online and pay just £200 per job.

More Information at

IRRV Online Training

A web-based, interactive learning tool designed for Revenues, Benefits & Customer staff. Training officers' time is at a premium, so this versatile product has been designed to meet the business needs of local authorities.

The IRRV Online Training programmes are designed to train officers to a high standard AND also feature an 'up to-date' Resource Center which is maintained daily with the latest circulars from the DWP. The programmes have a tutor functionality which will allow you to monitor staff progress. The programmes are written by practising specialists.

IRRV Online Training  Basics programmes - from £475 (plus VAT) Pro programmes - from £950 (plus VAT)

For more information contact the membership department at or telephone 0207 691 8994

Diploma/BSc in Real Estate Valuation

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) offers a Diploma/BSc in Real Estate Valuation.

The qualifications are accredited by the IRRV and lead to IRRV professional membership.

The Honours Degree can be completed in four and a half years – or you can take up to eight years. The Diploma leads to IRRV (Dip) membership, and the Degree to IRRV (Hons) membership.

More Details

Vocational Qualifications

A wide range of units covering knowledge and competence is offered. Assessment is through work-based evidence, and the qualification is acquired unit by unit, giving candidates a cumulative sense of achievement. There are no examinations.

Candidates must be registered and assessed at approved IRRV assessment centres. Workplaces may register as centres or candidates may be entered through external centres

Download the Qualification Details here

Download pdf

Further details are  available from the Institute –



Apply for Membership 

Apply for IRRV membership by clicking here

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation welcomes Business Rates Review by Treasury 

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) has welcomed the discussion paper launched by the Treasury on the 16th March 2015 concerning its review of the Business Rates system in England.

See full Press Release

Lee Hurst to host IRRV Performance Awards

The Institute is pleased  to announce that Lee Hurst will be hosting this years Performance Awards at the Gala Dinner in Telford on the 7th October 2015.

Well known for his many appearances on TV, a lesser known fact is that he worked in the General Rates Office with the Awards Co-ordinator at Tower Hamlets LBC as the Community Charge was being introduced in 1989/90.

Go to the Awards Site



Institute raises concerns regarding guidance in HB Circular U6/2014.

Senior Vice-President Jim McCafferty has written to Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud concerning the wording of HB Circular U6/2014.  Lord Freud’s reply accepts the point made by Mr McCafferty that It is over- simplistic to assume a link between rent set and the number of bedrooms; and that even in such cases where there is such a link the HB Decision Maker simply does not have the power to compel a change in rent.  The Minister undertook to issue guidance to clarify this position.

Read More

VOA Contact List

Members can now access the contact details of 591 staff within the Valuation Office Agency. The details for each officer include their team, role, unit, e-mail, phone number, location and address. Log into the IRRV members area to access the list

IRRV Meetings and Conference

IRRV Training

  • Introduction to Business Rates
    28th April, Manchester.
  • Role of the Council at the Magistrates Court
    27 May London & 28 May Manchester.
  • Introduction to Business Rates
    21 September London.
  • Introduction to Council Tax
    22 September London.
  • Business Rates Masterclass
    16 & 17 November London.
  • Council Tax  Masterclass
    23 & 24 November London.

More Information  

IRRV Professional Meetings

Completion Notices
The  course will focus on the importance of serving completion notices.
More Information 

Dealing with Vulnerability in a Revenues Environment
A Half Day seminar to provide an overview of the requirements to address vulnerability in collecting revenues, both statutory and advisory. To assist delegates in understanding the differing types of vulnerable person including medical terminology and behaviours. To assist delegates in their dealings negotiations and information gathering.
More Information  

Revenues and Enforcement Conference & Exhibition 2015

17 & 18 June 2015, Keele.  

The Institute has moved the Revenues and Enforcement Conference and Exhibition back to June this year as a result of the General Election taking place on the 7th May 2015. The conference will address all the key issues affecting practitioners today and look ahead to what the outcome of the General Election may bring.

More Information  

IRRV Annual Conference & Exhibition 2015

6, 7 & 8 October 2015, Telford.

This years Annual Conference and Exhibition will take place in Telford from the 6 October to 8 October 2015.

More Information  

Chancellor’s Autumn Statement ‘a missed opportunity to revitalise council tax and business rates”.

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) has said today that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had ‘missed a golden opportunity to deliver much needed change to the council tax and non-domestic rates systems”.   The comments were made on the publication, today, of the Government’s Autumn Statement. 

See the full Response

Local authorities should be congratulated’ for high collection rates of Council tax and Non-domestic rates..

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) has said today that local authorities in England should be congratulated for their continued high rates of collection of council tax and non-domestic rates.  The comments were made on the publication, today, of the 2013-2014 Council Tax and National Non Domestic Rates Collection statistics for England.   

Gordon Heath, Chairman of the IRRV Local Taxation Faculty Board commented on the release of the figures:

“Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has stated that the official figures reveal that there is ‘lots of room to improve’ in council tax collection in a small number of authorities.  Perhaps the Minister should reflect more fully on the fantastic job that the large majority of billing authorities have done in collecting council tax under very challenging conditions.

“Local Authorities are always striving to improve collection and reduce arrears.   The IRRV believes that the collection rate data for last year does not reflect the significant differences underlying collection of council tax in 2013-14 in comparison to 2012-13 and previous years when collection percentages were higher. These differences include the successful introduction of council tax reduction schemes last year, to replace council tax benefit, along with a significant budgetary cut of about 10 per cent to local authorities for this support.  New localised discounts were also introduced last year, to replace the former Class A and C exemption categories, a change which also impacted financially on billing authorities. 

“There is additional success to note in relation to non-domestic rates collection, with authorities in England achieving a national average in-year collection rate of 97.9% in 2013-14.  This represents an increase of 0.2 percentage points over collection rates for 2012-13 and highlights billing authorities’ determination to improve their performance.

“Yes, improvements will continue to be made, but the achievement of an average collection rate of 97% for council tax and 97.9% in respect of non-domestic rates is something to be applauded.  These are collection rates that would be the envy of most of the government agencies which are tasked with collecting debt. 

IRRV Presidents Charity

The new president of the Institue Kevin Stewart launches his charity appeal for the coming year

The IRRV Presidents Charity for this year will be for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research particularly for children. 2014-15 IRRV President Kevin  Stewart states ‘This is something very clear and personal to my heart.  When I was just 10 months old my elder brother Murray died of Leukemia. He was buried on his third birthday and I never got to know him. So for me this year the Presidents choice of charity is very personal. Whilst medicine and cures have developed so much since 1961 we would all agree I am sure that one child losing their life to this horrific illness is one too many. I have been very lucky in my life, my elder brother was not.

‘Therefore my chosen charity as President this year is dedicated in memory of my brother who died so painfully young. I have set up a giving website at and will gratefully accept any payment from you as well as any ideas or suggestions to help raise additional funds for such an important cause. More information can be found about this vital charity and the amazing work they do at I hope you will support my charity this year and I ll make no apology for continually reminding you of my chosen charity during the year at every appropriate opportunity. I hope also to have charity events later this year which I will give additional information about nearer the time.

National Occupational Standards for Local Taxation and Benefits

The latest version of the National Occupational Standards (NOS) in the Administration of Local Revenues and Benefits are now available. NOS are agreed statements of skills, knowledge and understanding required of individuals at work, and have been developed by Asset Skills (Sector Skills Council) in consultation with the IRRV and industry

Download Document

IRRV Magazines 

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation produces a full range of publications targeted at practitioners working in the fields of local taxation, local authority administered benefits, non domestic rating and public and private sector valuation.The flagship magazines are Insight, which goes monthly to all members of the IRRV, and bi-monthly Benefit, read by subscribers primarily within local authority benefits departments.A more specialist magazine, Valuer, is also produced on a quarterly basis, aimed at members of the Institute’s Valuers’ Association and others engaged in the valuation of land and property, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. 

Forward Features for 2015

Contact the IRRV to subscribe to the Magazines

Business Rates Level 3 Certificate via distance learning 
The Institute’s new Qualification in Business Rates (England and Wales) was launched at our Annual Conference with the first examinations scheduled for June 2013. We are now enrolling students so please contact us for more information!

IRRV Level 3 Certificate and IRRV Professional Diploma via Distance Learning – NEW SYLLABUS
The Institute is offering revised L3 Certificate and Professional Diploma qualifications to reflect the changes to Benefits. For more information please contact our Distance learning team.



Latest webinar on the recent report 'A Review of Universal Credit' by Deven Ghelani from Policy in Practice.

Go to Webinar

IRRV Enforcement Qualification Launched 

Chief Executive David Magor gives a webinar on the latest exiting development from the IRRV
View the webinar


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Poll Tax Reunion - BBC Radio 4

David Magor chief executive of the IRRV takes part in the Radio 4 Programme the Reunion. The programme hosted by Sue MacGregor reunites the architects and opponents of the Poll Tax.
More details and link to the BBC iplayer

Sponsorship and Sales

Commercial sponsorship attached to IRRV events, services and products offer a direct marketing communications link to those that influence and make buying decisions.

IRRV Sponsorship Opportunities

Members and Organisation Directory

Members and Organisation Directory