Lincoln council cracks down on single person tax discount abuse

The City of Lincoln Council is launching a comprehensive review of its single person tax discount, which it believes may have been fraudulently claimed by some residents.

An estimated 16,000 households in the city with only one adult resident currently receive a 25% council tax discount, working out at more than £4.4 million in the last financial year.

Single Person Discount is available for householders who are the only person aged over 18 living in a property.

The council will soon begin comparing its council tax information with other databases to identify those cases where more than one adult is living at an address and a discount is still being claimed.

People claiming Single Person Discount will be sent a form within the next few weeks to confirm or amend their circumstances.

Those who fail to return the form or deliberately provide false information to the council will be fined £70.

A number of council tax exemptions exist for full-time students, some apprentices, care workers and student nurses.

This means that some residents may be entitled to the Single Person Discount even though they live with another adult.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, leader of the city council, said: “It is a statutory requirement for council taxpayers to tell us within 21 days if they think they should no longer qualify for a discount.

“If you receive a discount you think you should not receive, this is your chance to tell us before we contact you.

“We are obliged to amend any records we find to be incorrect back to the date of the change. This means householders do not benefit from withholding information from us and it makes the system fairer for everyone.

“It could mean some households will find they have a considerable amount of council tax arrears to pay.

“While we are cracking down on the incorrect discounts granted, we are still keen to make sure that everyone gets the discounts to which they are entitled. Taxpayers should contact us if they think they qualify for any discounts and exemptions.”

More information about the available discounts and exemptions can be found on the city council’s website.