North Lincolnshire Council is introducing a rolling review of council tax discounts to catch those who are trying to cheat the system.
A 25 per cent council tax discount is awarded to households where there is only one adult living at the property. In the last financial year, approximately 24,000 households in North Lincolnshire were awarded a single person discount.
The majority of those who claim single person discount are fully entitled to the 25 per cent reduction. However, nationally, fraudulently claimed council tax discounts cost the taxpayer an estimated £133m a year*. This is money that could be spent on other services in local communities.
NLC’s review will compare council tax information with other databases to identify households where more than one adult may be living at an address but a discount is still being applied. Anyone who is found to be fraudulently claiming single person discount faces the possibility of a fine and legal action.
By identifying those who are incorrectly claiming a discount on their council tax, NLC can save taxpayers’ money and keep council tax bills low.
Councillor Richard Hannigan, cabinet member for governance and transformation, said: “Single person discount allows people living on their own to have a more manageable council tax bill. However, there is a small minority who try to take advantage of the scheme and claim a discount they are not entitled to.
“Our new rolling review will be more regular and thorough than previously and it will help put money back into the public purse. Even a small number of fraudulent claims represents a significant loss in council tax revenue and takes money directly from vital services that benefit the entire community.”
If your circumstances change, it is important that you the council know as soon as possible. Visit www.northlincs.gov.uk/counciltax, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01724 297000.
*National Fraud Authority estimate.