Thurrock Council to review single person council tax allowance

THURROCK households claiming for a single person’s discount (SPD) on their council tax bill are being checked in a borough-wide review.Using sophisticated data matching technology, the council is hoping to validate legitimate SPD claims and identify and remove those being claimed in error or fraudulently.The SPD, a 25 per cent discount worth a minimum of £250 a year, is given to anybody who claims to be living in a property on their own. That’s 18,430 people in Thurrock.In partnership with Capacitygrid, Thurrock Council will check to see whether people are genuinely living alone, by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household like the electoral-roll registers and financial sector information.The review process will be carried out between 13 October 2016 and 7 December 2016, during which time, anybody who claims the discount may be asked for some additional information.Any persons failing to respond to requests for further information in relation to their claim will have the claim withdrawn from the beginning of the current financial year or from the date the discount was applied if within the current financial year if, during the review process, checks indicate another adult is living at the address, the discount will be withdrawn.Portfolio Holder for Finance and Central Services, Cllr Shane Hebb said: “We will be contacting all those where we feel further clarification around circumstances are required but in the meantime, I would urge anyone who is claiming the discount, but no longer entitled, please contact CapacityGrid 0808 168 8923 or www.thurrock.gov.uk/MyAccount.”It is estimated around £360,000 is claimed incorrectly every year a figure which could fund every street sweeper in Thurrock.”The longer you leave it, the larger your backdated bill will be, 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.”People who are genuinely claiming the discount have nothing to worry about, but anyone found to be deliberately misleading the tax payers of Thurrock could face a fine of up to £70.

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