Elmbridge Borough Council regularly reviews residents receiving a reduction on their council tax. Whilst we are aware that most residents are claiming reductions appropriately there are, however, a minority who are attempting to defraud the system. These residents may not have reported a change in their circumstances and are receiving a reduction when they are no longer entitled to it. Checks may be made to ensure claims for reductions are genuine.
Reviews are also conducted on empty homes to ensure our records are up to date and to aid bringing homes back into use.
Residents receiving disabled relief are required by statute to re-confirm entitlement for each bill year.
Residents receiving a reduction may receive a letter asking for them to complete a form and/or explain their current circumstances. Reviews should be promptly completed. If you do not respond to a review letter your reduction will likely be removed and further investigations may be undertaken, including possible proceedings in a criminal court.
We participate in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise including single person discount and electoral records.
The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) - Fair Processing Notice
Each year local authorities nationwide receive a high volume of applications for single person's discount. Some of these applications are not genuine and like benefit fraud these people are falsely claiming reductions in their bills. Legislation exists which allows council tax fraud to be prosecuted in the same way that benefit fraud is - through the court system and fraudsters are made to pay back the money they owe.
We would like to thank our residents for their on-going cooperation throughout these reviews.