Medway Council is encouraging residents who receive council tax discounts to check their details are up-to-date.
Residents who receive a council tax discount or exemption have a duty to inform the council of any changes in their circumstances, which may affect their entitlement, within 21 days of the change occurring. Failing to do so could result in a £70 fine, which increases to £280 for repeated failures, or, in more serious cases, criminal proceedings could be brought.
Following a recent Medway Council investigation a 32-year-old woman from Rainham now has to pay an additional £1,200 council tax. Following an anonymous call, the investigation revealed that despite claiming a single person discount on her council tax bill, her partner had been living with her in her home, for four years.
The discount has been cancelled and last month the resident was sent a revised council tax bill and a £70 fine for failing to report her change in circumstances to the council, which is due immediately.
'Anyone found to be making false claims against the council will be fined'
Cllr Rupert Turpin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business Management, said: “Anyone who receives a council tax discount must let us know if their circumstances change. Anyone found to be making false claims against the council will be fined, or, in more serious cases, prosecuted.”