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Tax deductions to be checked

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:34 03 July 2010

All 15,000 people living in the Broadland District Council area who claim a quarter off their council tax bill as single residents will be checked to make sure their claims are genuine.

All 15,000 people living in the Broadland District Council area who claim a quarter off their council tax bill as single residents will be checked to make sure their claims are genuine.

The checks will be the central feature of a drive to tackle council tax fraud.

The council will work with credit reference agency Equifax to help identify where people are claiming discounts on council tax that they are not entitled to.

“The main part of the project will centre on checks on all 15,000 people who claim 25pc off their council tax bill as single residents,” said Alan Mallett, the council's portfolio holder for finance.

“We are keen to make sure that people who genuinely live alone are claiming their discount of a quarter off their council tax bill.

“However, people who claim a discount to which they are not entitled are cheating the system and placing an unfair burden on those residents who pay their full liability, particularly at a time when honest citizens are struggling through the recession.”

A total of 450 single resident discounts were cancelled last year after they were found to be incorrectly claimed following a similar check by Broadland's revenues team.

Work will also be carried out to ensure that the 700 properties that are currently receiving discounts or exemptions for being empty and unoccupied in Broadland are truly empty.

Mr Mallett added: “The council is now at the forefront of the drive to ensure that the council tax system is not abused by anyone seeking to claim a discount for which they are not entitled.

“It is now far easier to use modern technology to check on discounts rather than rely on visual checks or a review letter.”

The project will run over a period of approximately six months. The council is keen to encourage people who are incorrectly claiming a council tax discount to contact them before the discount review campaign begins. You can reach the council tax team by ringing 01603 430600 or 430601.

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