Residents under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 who have been made liable for Council Tax must pay as stated on their recent bill and being a ‘freeman’ does not exempt anyone from this.

Local authorities are receiving requests from The Freeman on the Land movement and similar groups to not pay Council Tax as they believe that individuals should only be bound by contracts and laws that they have consented to.

Contract law and alleged rights under common law are not the same as legislation relating to the administration and collection of Council Tax.

Council Tax Liability

Council Tax liability in the UK is determined by the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This statute, created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom which has received the assent of the Crown and subsequent statutory regulations, sets out a local authority’s rights to demand Council Tax to fund services and who is liable to pay.

Without the collection of Council Tax, Sandwell Council would not be able to provide essential services or provide additional support to those in need.

Council Tax liability is not dependent on, and does not require, the consent or the existence of a contractual relationship with the council, and any such assertion to the contrary is incorrect and there is no legal basis upon which to make this argument.

The following references also have no legal basis:

  • A person not having consented to pay Council Tax.
  • There not being a contractual relationship between the council and the resident.
  • Lawful rebellion.
  • Article 61 of the Magna Carta.
  • The Coronation Oath Act 1688.
  • The ‘People’s peace’.
  • Legal fictions, ‘straw men’ and ‘I, X of the family Y’.
  • Common Law Court of Great Britain and International.
  • Maritime or admiralty law.
  • Uniform commercial code.

Payment of Council Tax

Recovery action will commence where payments are not made as stated on a Council Tax bill or without agreement from the authority to recover any outstanding debt.

Please seek legal advice prior to withholding payment for Council Tax based on internet sources or forum statements as these may be incorrect or misleading.


The legislation that covers Council Tax is freely available from the GOV.UK website including:

Some residents have asked whether acts and statutes are an obligation on them, and about the difference between a statute and law and other similar questions regarding legal matters.

Acts of Parliament are statutes which set out the law. If you have questions regarding other Acts of Parliament or laws, these should be directed to a legal professional, not the council.

Very occasionally we get people who are convinced that using an archaic law means they don’t have to pay Council Tax and there are many misleading articles and templates on the internet regarding the legality of Council Tax. Anyone drawing on these for advice should exercise caution and seek proper legal advice before using them as a defence against Council Tax liability based on contract, consent and common law.

While we do our best to answer all relevant enquiries about Council Tax, we reserve the right to refuse to respond to lengthy spurious enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments that have no basis in statute which use our resources at the expense of other taxpayers. This includes letters and notices served on the council’s chief executive with the same misleading reasoning.

Common ‘Freeman’ questions

The council has a responsibility to bill and collect Council Tax, but this does not mean it introduces a fiduciary relationship.

Some common questions and claims received are answered below.

Can you provide an autographed lawful contract with both of our signatures?

Some residents consider that Council Tax is a contract and requires a legal contract and signatures indicating an agreement. Council Tax is a creature of statute, and a contract is not required. Therefore, any reference to the Companies Act, Contracts Act, Bills of Exchange Act or other acts regarding companies or contracts is irrelevant.

A variation of this question is ‘please provide evidence that I’ve agreed with you that you can lawfully collect an alleged debt from me.’

Again, this is irrelevant, as there hasn’t been an exchange of contracts or agreement. Neither is required for the levy and recovery of Council Tax.

Can you provide evidence that I am lawfully obliged to pay Council Tax?

The hierarchy of who is considered to be the liable party is contained in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 c14 Part 1, Chapter 1, Sections 6 -9. Individual agreement of this is not necessary.

Can you provide evidence that you have the lawful and contractual authority to use the legal fictional name of “XXX” for the purposes of making money?

Whether a name is legal or fictional is irrelevant for the purposes of Council Tax.

Council Tax is charged and is payable by whoever the liable party is, which is determined by reference to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and Council Tax (administration and enforcement) regulations 1992.

Can you provide confirmation the debt exists lawfully?

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 containing a wet ink signature?

As covered above, a signature is not necessary for the billing of Council Tax and no wet ink signature is mandatory on a court summons either. Summonses no longer require a signature of any sort, including electronic ones

I’m a Freeman of the Land and am not liable

Being a Freeman of the Land does not mean you can choose which laws to adhere and which to ignore.

Can you please send us your VAT details/provide a VAT invoice?

It should be noted, Council Tax is deemed outside the scope of VAT and we are unable to provide a VAT invoice.

Can you please state whether you are a company or a corporation?

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council is a local authority within the Public Sector and does not have a company number.