A review of council tax single person discounts is soon to be carried out by Wokingham Borough Council, across the borough.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure they collect all council tax that is due and any discount, such as for a single person, is only awarded to those residents entitled to it.
Changes are backdated, so withholding information could mean some households have a considerable amount of council tax arrears to pay.
“We believe most council tax discounts are claimed honestly and legitimately, and we know there are times a household’s circumstances change and people forget to tell us their eligibility for a discount should end,” said Cllr Anthony Pollock, executive member for economic development and finance.
“However, it’s a statutory requirement for council tax payers to tell us if they think they should no longer qualify for a discount. I would strongly urge anyone to contact us now if they receive a discount they’re not sure they’re entitled to.
“While we’re cracking down on the incorrect discounts granted, we’re still keen to make sure everyone gets the discounts they’re entitled to. You should also contact us if you think you should qualify for any discounts and exemptions.”
Rather than contacting every resident currently claiming, the borough council will work with Northgate Public Services to do residency checks, targeting those residents whose circumstances differ from that recorded on its systems and may therefore no longer be eligible for the discount.
Any change of circumstance, which affects a resident’s entitlement to a single person discount (or any discount or exemption), will incur a penalty of £70 unless they notify the council within 21 days.
Anyone who thinks they may no longer be entitled to a council tax discount should contact the borough council on (0118) 974 6000 or email: Ctax@wokingham.gov.uk.