Cotswold District Council is joining a national crackdown to ensure residents are not wrongly claiming Council Tax discounts.

All local authorities are required by law to take part in the Government’s National Fraud Initiative, overseen by the Audit Commission.

The Council will be using information supplied by property owners and residents to check whether people claiming the single person’s discount of 25% are genuinely living alone.

Portfolio holder for Property & Benefits Cllr Nick Parsons urged anyone claiming a discount whose circumstances have changed to get in touch with the Council so that their Council Tax bill can be reviewed and, if appropriate, be corrected.

He said: “Of course we are keen to make sure that anyone who lives alone is rightly claiming the discount to which they are entitled.

“However, we will be making checks to identify cases where there are two or more adults living at a property which should therefore not be receiving a discount.”

The checks cross-match information with other government departments and show whether more than one resident has ordered goods or services from an address.

Cllr Parsons added: “The Council must investigate and take action against false claimants in order to stop the burden falling on the vast majority of law-abiding council tax payers in our District. Council tax fraud is a criminal offence and cheats are likely to face prosecution.”

The Council is also urging anyone who lives alone who is not currently claiming a discount to get in touch and find out what they are entitled to by calling the Council Tax team on 01285 623033.

Source: Cotswold District Council