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 required 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 in order 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 don't 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 because:
- You've failed to tell us you're working
- You've failed to declare other benefits or occupational pensions
- You're claiming reductions or discounts for addresses you don't live at
- You've failed to tell us you own other properties or land
- You've failed to tell us of savings and bank accounts
- You've failed to tell us partners or other people are living with you
- You're claiming reductions or discounts when living abroad
- You've failed to declare other adults live at the property
- You're claiming to be a student when you're not
- You're claiming to be the sole occupant of a property that was actually empty in order to avoid paying an empty property premium
Report Council tax fraud
You can report suspected fraud to us using our online form. You don't 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 we are unable to 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.
What can happen if you’re found out?
If you're suspected of Council Tax fraud you could:
- Be interviewed under caution
- Be arrested and have your property searched by Police
Where 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 whether 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.