Action to Combat Council Tax Fraud

A new campaign to target people who commit Council Tax fraud kicks off this week. Winchester City Council is cracking down on customers who illegally claim single person discount on their Council Tax when they do not live alone.

The Council – along with others in Hampshire – is to compare its Council Tax information with other databases to identify cases where more than one adult is living at an address and yet a single person discount is being claimed. There are over 49,000 properties in the district and around 14,000 of them receive a single person discount. 

Gill Cranswick, Head of Revenues said “Most Council Tax discounts are being claimed honestly and there are times where a household’s circumstances change and people forget to tell us that they are no longer entitled to the discount.  But there is a minority who believe that they can cheat the system and claim discounts that they know they are not entitled to.  This new system of electronic checks will catch them.” 

All Council Tax payers are under a duty to tell the Council if they think that they no longer qualify for a discount.  The Council is obliged to amend incorrect records back to the date of the change which means that householders may have a considerable amount of Council Tax to repay. 

The Council is keen to stress that whilst it is cracking down on incorrect discounts being claimed, it still wants to make sure that everyone gets the discounts that they are entitled to.