Thursday, 10 October 2013

Council Tax cheats face crackdown

People currently getting a discount on their council tax bills are being asked to prove they are entitled to a 25% reduction – or risk losing it.

North West Leicestershire District Council is contacting every resident currently claiming the Single Person Discount – and will take action against anyone attempting to cheat the system.

A district council representative said "Every year councils get a lot of applications for the 25% Sole Occupier Discount. Sadly some of these applications are not genuine and – just like benefit cheats – these people are breaking the law by claiming reductions in their bills.

"Some fraud of course, will be unintentional and the district council will consider each case based on its own merits. In some cases, the mismatch may be due to someone moving out recently – or if there is a carer resident.

"We will investigate people who choose not to declare the change – and remove their discount if necessary. These people are taking advantage of our genuine council tax payers.

"Council Tax cheats can now be prosecuted in the same way that benefit cheats are – through the court system – and made to pay back the money they owe.

The council spokesperson added “Our residents expect value for money for their council tax. Many families are struggling as the economy takes time to recover. But at a time when we must make difficult decisions about how we pay for essential services, it’s even more important we do all we can to stamp out fraud in the district.”
Anyone sent a letter must reply within 14 days – or risk losing their 25% discount.

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