Review reveals £100k savings in council tax

MORE than £100,000 has been clawed back in council tax after Woking Borough Council contractors identified nearly 300 cases of residents falsely or mistakenly claiming the a single-person discount.

INVESTIGATION - Council Leader John Kingsbury

INVESTIGATION – Council Leader John Kingsbury

During September 2013, as part of an initiative across Surrey’s boroughs, Capita Local Government Services were appointed to review the records of more than 12,000 Woking taxpayers listed as living alone and claiming a 25 per cent reduction on their council tax.

The organisation wrote to relevant households to verify that the correct discount was being claimed. Data from the electoral role and credit applications were used as part of the checks and some claimants received a follow-up telephone call.

Leader of Woking Borough Council, John Kingsbury, said: “Following in-depth investigations from a specialist contractor, we have detected that more than 2.5 per cent of the council tax single-person claimants in the borough have been receiving a benefit that they are not entitled to.

“The findings will provide savings of more than £100,000.

“At present, the ongoing exercise is also investigating an additional 400 claims, which may lead to further savings.

“If there are cases where discounts have been claimed fraudulently or a change of circumstance has not been notified to the council, further action may be taken.

“With this in mind, I would urge all single households in receipt of the council tax single-person discount to check their eligibility, as well as those currently living alone who are not taking advantage of this concession.”
Recent council tax bills show the discounts residents are receiving.

Anyone who thinks they may no longer be entitled to a reduction, or who believes they are entitled to one, can contact the Council Tax Team at ctax@woking.gov.uk or on 01483 755855. Visit www.woking.
gov.uk/benefits for more details

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