Review to tackle tax discount fraud

council tax bill
council tax bill

Every household claiming the single person discount on their council tax will have their claim examined in a bid to beat fraud.

Daventry District Council will be looking into every claim for the 25 per cent discount given to adults who live alone this month.

Thousands of homes across the district are likely to be involved in the review.

The move is part of an evidence-based single person discount (SPD) review currently taking place across Northamptonshire in a bid to discover any inappropriate discounts being claimed.

During August, all accounts registered to Daventry District Council (DDC) which currently have an SPD will be checked using a combination of council data, third party data sources and specialist validation services.

These are likely to include other benefit claims, electoral register, credit histories and more.

These checks will be used to confirm discounts for genuine claimants and cancel ineligible or incorrect awards.

Where there appears to be a discrepancy, a review form will be sent to the claimant giving them the opportunity to respond within 21 days.

The review is being carried out by the Local Government Shared Service team based in Northampton, in partnership with local authorities across the county including DDC. It follows reports from the Audit Commission that more than £200 million of single person discounts may be inappropriately awarded nationally.

Councillor Chris Long, Daventry District Council’s resources portfolio holder said: “With local authority budgets all over the country already overstretched, inappropriately awarded discounts are an added pressure for councils.

“This review will not only ensure genuine claimants continue to receive this discount, but will help us to identify and remove those being claimed in error or fraudulently.”

Anyone unsure about their eligibility regarding SPDs should call 0300 126 1900 as soon as possible. Alternatively they can email northantsspdreview@northampton.gov.uk with their new information.

For any queries regarding a review letter, they should contact the helpline number given on the letter.