North Lincolnshire Council say they could be saving taxpayers more than £60,000 a year in council tax discounts people are falsely claiming.
In a clampdown the council found 250 people were claiming council tax discounts they were not entitled to, worth around £60,000.
Between April 2013 and March 2014, the council awarded around 24,000 people a single person discount. The discount is awarded to households where there is only one adult living at the property.
Officials are appealing to people whose circumstances may have changed, and who are no longer eligible for the discount to contact the council. To report a change in circumstances, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01724 296093.
The council is currently comparing its council tax information with other databases to identify those cases where more than one adult may be living at an address and a discount is being claimed. Forms will be issued to some households to confirm their entitlement to the discount. Those found to be fraudulently receiving a single person discount will have the discount removed and could face a fine and legal action.
The council is advising residents these checks are necessary to reduce fraudulent claims and save money. It is urging people to tell the council if they know of anyone falsely claiming council tax discounts that they are not entitled to.
Cabinet member for Policy and Resources at North Lincolnshire Council, Coun Neil Poole, said: “The vast majority of residents claiming single person discount are genuine. But there are those who continue to flout the law by falsely claiming the discount when they are clearly not entitled to it. It is costing taxpayers thousands of pounds each year – money that could be better used to help keep council tax bills down for all residents.
“We want people to contact us if their circumstances have changed. This will help ensure that we are awarding the right level of discount to those that need it most. And if you know someone who you suspect is claiming discount they are not entitled to, please let us know.”