Tax fraudsters ‘will be found’ in Adur audit

Adur and Worthing councils are taking part in an initiative to check people claiming a single person discount are actually living alone.

The councils are reminding residents who claim the discount on council tax to let them know if their circumstances change.

Around 6,066 people in Adur and 17,675 in Worthing currently claim a single person discount, which gives 25 per cent off their council tax bill.

Adur cabinet member for resources Angus Dunn said: “We want to remind residents that if their circumstances change and they are no longer living alone, they need to let us know as soon as possible,”

Both Adur and Worthing councils will soon be taking part in a West Sussex county-wide initiative to check that those who are claiming single person discount are living alone.

The audit will help to identify where people are claiming discounts that they are not entitled to.

Mr Dunn said: “We want to make sure that the discount is being given to those who genuinely live alone.

“People who claim a discount to which they are not entitled are cheating the system and placing an unfair burden on those residents who pay full council tax.”

The single person discount audit is due to start in the next few weeks and will last for approximately five months.

The corporate fraud team has warned: “Continuing to claim a single person’s discount on council tax, when this is no longer the case, may be treated as a criminal case of fraud potentially resulting in investigation, which in turn can lead prosecution so it is far better for an individual to notify a change, than for the local authority to find out first.”

To report any changes, call 01273 263111.

Alternatively, residents living in either Adur or Worthing can visit the new joint website for more information.