Aberdeenshire Council is about to undertake a review of customers currently in receipt of single person discount on their Council Tax.
This is the second such review undertaken in the last two years and will see the current entitlements of more than 33,000 customers being checked and verified, to ensure only those entitled to a discount receive it.
Commenting on the situation, the council’s Head of Finance, Alan Wood, said: “This is one of a number of initiatives routinely undertaken by the council to ensure only those entitled to Council Tax reductions are receiving them.
“Work such as this helps make sure the local tax system is working fairly and money which should be collected for the public benefit is collected.
“If any of our customers think they are not paying the correct council tax, they should contact us for advice.”
The previous review exercise in 2012 saw Aberdeenshire Council ‘billing’ customers for more than £300,000, which became payable by them as a result of their discount entitlement being cancelled.
The council is using its software supplier, Northgate, to carry out the review on its behalf.
The company will be working closely with Experian, an external information services company, to compare details of properties where single person discount is being claimed against information held on other national databases, to check if there appears to be more than one person living at any address.
Where information shows there may be more than one person living at an address, a Council Tax review form will be issued to the customer.
This will allow them to provide details of all residents in their household.
If the details returned confirm a person is no longer living alone, the discount will be stopped and a new Council Tax bill will be issued.
The council says customers will be required to pay back any money due from the date they were no longer entitled to the discount.
Where checks show more than one person living at an address but that is disputed by the person claiming the discount there will be further investigation.
If you would like to report a change in your circumstances regarding Council Tax, you can do it now by calling Aberdeenshire Council on 08456 08 12 01.
Alternatively, visit the website: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/counciltax/circumstances
If you suspect someone is committing fraud by claiming a Council Tax reduction which they are not entitled to, you can report it anonymously on the number above.
For independent information on council tax, please see: http://bit.ly/1jQCDPS