Cheshire East is to run data checks on households claiming council tax discounts in order to find instances where incorrect awards have been made.
All households in Cheshire East claiming a single person’s discount of 25 per cent off their council tax bill will be checked for their authenticity using sophisticated data-matching technology.
This is part of an ongoing review to validate legitimate single person discount claims and identify and remove those being claimed in error.
A 25 per cent discount, worth a minimum of £250 a year, is given to anyone who claims to be living in a property on their own.
Cheshire East Council is now checking to see whether people are living alone, by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household – such as, but not limited to, the electoral roll registers and financial sector information.
People failing to respond to two written requests for further information, in relation to their claim, will have it withdrawn from the beginning of the current financial year or from the date the discount was applied, if within the current financial year.
If during the review process, checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will also be withdrawn.
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “We will be contacting all those we believe to be claiming incorrectly but, in the meantime, I would urge anyone who is claiming the discount and whose circumstances have changed, to contact us immediately by visiting the council tax section of the authority’s website or by telephoning 0300 123 5013.
“It would be advisable for individuals to let us know about changes in their circumstances, so it makes sense to tell us as soon as possible. Even if you were living alone when you received your bill for the year, if another adult is living with you now, we will need to re-calculate the amount you need to pay.”