Tax break claimants to be quizzed on current status as part of fraud crackdown

Council tax and business rates payments hit by banking system fault.

Council tax and business rates payments hit by banking system fault. - Credit: PA

Finance chiefs in two Suffolk districts are attempting to crack down on fraudulent claims for council tax reductions.

Anyone falsely claiming the single person discount in Suffolk Coastal and Waveney has been warned they may face a £75 fine and be ordered to repay the shortfall in contributions.

It comes as the councils launch a joint review of the 18,000 households receiving the 25% sole adult occupancy discount.

Each claimant will this week receive a letter asking them to explain their circumstances and to notify their authority of any change.

Suffolk Coastal’s head of resources, Robert Whiting said: “While the majority of residents will be making genuine claims for the single person discount, unfortunately, others may be using this discount as an opportunity to defraud the system.

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“At both local authorities we are taking council tax fraud very seriously and this review is an opportunity for checks to be made to ensure everyone who claims the discount is genuine.”

Mike Barnard, Waveney’s resources chief, said: “Both local authorities would like to thank residents for their on-going cooperation during this review. This is a chance for residents to come forward and let us know their circumstances and will ensure that public money is protected with the discount being given to people with genuine needs.”

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