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8 Jun 2016

Lincolnshire councils reclaim over £600k council tax discounts

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money have been recovered by Lincolnshire councils from people who have continued to get single person discount on their council tax when not entitled to it. (h/t Dave)

A review was carried out of more than 100,000 households to see if people claiming the 25% single person discount were genuinely living on their own.

A total of 2,229 discounts were taken away and individuals have had to pay back any discount that they were not entitled to.

Enforcement action has been taken against 543 people as they have either failed to respond or have provided misleading information. In all, £611,000 was recovered.

Councillor Aaron Spencer, Boston Borough Council's finance portfolio holder, said: "This type of exercise is part of our fraud prevention measures which all Lincolnshire councils take very seriously. We do investigate and take appropriate action against people claiming council tax discount and exemptions that they are not entitled to. Every pound lost this way increases national and local taxation levels and also threatens essential services.

"£611,000 is a significant amount of money that is successfully being reclaimed - we will not tolerate those who potentially seek to defraud local taxpayers. In Boston borough £61,000 has been reclaimed, 255 claimants have been removed and 98 penalties totalling £7,000 have been issued.

"We are obliged to amend any records we find to be incorrect back to the date of the change. This means householders do not benefit from withholding information from us and it makes the system fairer for everyone. If you don't tell us it could mean some households will find they have a considerable amount of council tax arrears to pay."

Source

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