Council Tax fraud
Council Tax fraud can start when a claim is made if you provide made-up information or fail to tell us all of the information needed to assess your claim for a reduction or your entitlement to a discount or exemption.
It is a criminal offence for you to make a false statement to get a reduction, discount or exemption that you would not otherwise be entitled to.
Fraud can also happen after the claim has been made where you do not tell us of a change of circumstance that may affect your entitlement to a reduction, discount or exemption.
Types of Council Tax fraud
Council Tax fraud can be committed if you:
- have failed to tell us you're working
- have failed to declare other benefits or occupational pensions
- are claiming reductions or discounts for addresses you do not live at
- have failed to tell us you own other properties or land
- have failed to tell us of savings and bank accounts
- have failed to tell us partners or other people are living with you
- are claiming reductions or discounts when living abroad
- have failed to declare other adults live at the property
- are claiming to be a student when you're not
- are claiming to be the sole occupant of a property that was actually empty to avoid paying an empty property premium.
Report Council Tax fraud
You do not need to leave your details when completing the form. If you do want to leave your details, they will be kept in the strictest confidence.
Once you've reported something to us we'll evaluate it to determine whether investigation is appropriate. The more information that we are given the better as this will make the evaluation more comprehensive and the more likely a successful outcome will be.
We're not able to comment on ongoing investigations, and due to data protection law, we cannot give feedback on any reported allegations. So, if you report a suspected fraud, we will not be able to update you on how an investigation is proceeding.
If you commit Council Tax fraud
If you're suspected of Council Tax fraud you could be:
- interviewed under caution
- arrested and have your property searched by police.
If it's been proved that you've claimed reductions, discounts or exemptions you're not entitled to, you will have to pay the additional Council Tax liability and we'll consider if further action is appropriate.
Further action could include:
- a caution
- an administrative penalty
- being denied current or future reductions
- being prosecuted
- or confiscation of property and assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.