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32% of East Devon households claim the discount as of 1 March 2024

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is urging residents who receive Single Person Discount to ensure that any changes in their circumstances have been promptly notified to the council. Failure to report changes before the deadline of 5th April could result in a penalty of £70 being added to their council tax bill.

Any alteration in circumstances, such as a partner moving in or a child reaching the age of 18, may invalidate the Single Person Discount, necessitating the issue of a new bill. Residents are encouraged to inform EDDC of any such changes either through the council’s website or by calling the Council Tax team on 01395 517446.

However, if residents’ circumstances remain unchanged and they still qualify for the discount, there is no need to inform the council.

The Single Person Discount is a widely claimed discount, with 32% of East Devon households claiming it as of 1st March 2024. Approximately £13 million is expected to be discounted for the financial year 2024/2025.  However, it is nationally recognised as a discount that can be claimed incorrectly. EDDC with the support of Devon County Council will therefore, commence a review of those residents claiming the discount.

The review process, which will commence after 5th April, will be conducted by Capacitygrid, a reputable company specialising in review services for local authorities. Capacitygrid will cross-reference residents’ entitlement with various data sources, including electoral-roll registers and financial sector information, to identify any potential inaccuracies in Single Person Discount claims.

Residents flagged by the review will receive letters at the end of April informing them of the need to review their entitlement. It is imperative that recipients respond promptly to the letter.

Councillor Paul Hayward, EDDC’s portfolio holder for Finance and Assets, said:

“East Devon District Council is committed to providing support to our residents wherever, and whenever we can, and the Council Tax Single Person Discount scheme is a key part of that strategic aim. However, EDDC also has a responsibility to ensure that financial assistance is only provided to those in genuine need, and so we routinely undertake robust checks on eligibility to safeguard the public purse and thus allow us to provide more targeted assistance in the future.”