1. Council Tax fraud
Council Tax fraud costs all taxpayers. It is a criminal offence and reduces the money available to help those who need it.
Make sure you don’t commit fraud
We can reduce how much Council Tax you pay if you qualify for a discount, exemption or disregard. However if the information provided is false or you do not tell us promptly of a change in circumstances you may be committing Council Tax fraud. Examples are:
- Claiming an incorrect discount, e.g. claiming 25% single person discount when you do not live alone
- Claiming an incorrect exemption, e.g. claiming the property is unoccupied or occupied when it is not
- Claiming to be a full time student when the course has ended or you are no longer attending the course
- Claiming Council Tax Reduction when you are not entitled to it
Remember, if you are receiving help with your rent (Housing Benefit) and/or with your Council Tax, it is your responsibility to notify us immediately of any change in your circumstances. You must tell us within 21 days of the change to make sure you do not commit fraud.
- To tell us about changes to your Council Tax Reduction
- To tell us about changes to your Council Tax discount, exemption or disregard, email email@example.com or call 01395 517446
How to report suspected fraud
If you suspect someone is claiming Council Tax Reduction or a Council Tax discount, exemption or disregard to which they may not be entitled, please tell us by:
- calling our confidential 24-hour Fraud Hotline on 01395 517494 or
- emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All information we receive is treated in the strictest confidence. You do not have to give us your contact details unless you choose to.
The more information you give us, the better chance we have of a carrying out a successful investigation.
What happens after you report suspected fraud?
If you’ve given enough information, we’ll check the person’s Council Tax Reduction claim or account. We aren't allowed to tell you the outcome.
Sometimes no action is taken. It might be that the person has declared a change in their circumstances and their claim or account is not affected by it.
We will only take action if we find the person has been committing fraud. Action can include
- removing a person’s Council Tax Reduction, discount, exemption, disregard
- issuing a civil penalty of £70
- taking a person to court
To support our work to prevent and detect fraud we have a Council Tax and Benefits Penalty and Prosecution policy.
Victim of fraud or cyber-crime?
If you have been the victim of fraud or cyber-crime report it to Action Fraud.