Residents are being warned not to get ‘caught out’ by upcoming council tax checks for adults who claim the single resident discount.
The annual checks will soon be carried out by Arun District Council.
A total of 24,000 people in the Arun district claim the 25 per cent single resident discount to their council tax bill for being the only adult living in the home.
Councillor Dudley Wensley, cabinet member for corporate governance at Arun District Council, said: “We are keen to make sure the right people are claiming and receiving the proper discount as we want to ensure no one is unnecessarily struggling to pay their council tax bill.
“However, people who claim a discount that they are not entitled to are cheating the system and placing an unfair burden on those residents who are paying their full council tax liability, particularly those honest residents who may be struggling to do so.”
After the checks last year, more than £200,000 was recouped and 500 discounts were cancelled.
The council may contact residents to confirm information held on their records in order to check that their discount claim is still valid. Anyone who may be incorrectly claiming the discount, or whose circumstances have recently changed, is encouraged to contact the council to update their details as soon possible before the review begins.
The council hopes the checks will highlight possible fraudulent claims, which can then be investigated, with legal action taken if necessary.
Residents can claim 25 per cent off of their council tax bill if they are over 18 and live alone in the home, or if no one else living in the home counts as an adult.
The council will carry out the checks in partnership with credit reference agency Experian.
For more information on council tax visit www.arun.gov.uk and to contact a member of the council tax team, dial 01903 737752 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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