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West Berkshire Council to clamp down on council tax evaders

Checks on those receiving single persons discount

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

West Berkshire Council logo

WEST Berkshire Council is aiming to clamp down on residents who may be incorrectly claiming the single person’s discount on their council tax.

The local authority, which earlier this year was forced into making £17.5m-worth of budget cuts, will shortly be making checks on all accounts in receipt of the 25 per cent discount, using the external company Capita.

The checks will involve comparing those accounts receiving the discount against financial data held by Equifax, the credit referencing agency.

Review letters will be sent this month to accounts where the council thinks there may be a second adult living at the property.

Recipients will be required to return the review form, even if their circumstances remain unchanged.

The form will give details of a dedicated telephone helpline for any queries.

West Berkshire executive member for corporate services and external affairs, James Fredrickson, (Con) Victoria, said: “As part of our duties, we are checking to make sure that everyone in receipt of this discount is receiving it correctly.

“This is to protect public finances, prevent fraudulent claims, and to ensure that those who are eligible receive what they are entitled to.”

Review forms can be returned by post or online at www.westberks.gov.uk/counciltaxreview

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