Monday, February 12, 2007

Council to clamp down on tax dodgers

Details of press release issued by the Authority. Hull City Council is about to undertake a high tech initiative that's set to find council tax dodgers across the city. Using the latest data matching technology, an initial 5,000 households in Hull that claim to be occupied by a person living on their own will be checked to make sure that the 25% discount they are receiving is still applicable. This anti-fraud initiative will access a range of data sources. This included third party data providers which helps to ensure that only people entitled to receive the 25% single person discount actually do so. The initiative is fully in-line with Data Protection Regulations. Andy Brown, Head of Revenues and Benefits said: "People who are genuinely claiming this discount have nothing to fear - we want them to continue receiving the discount to which they are entitled. However, we take a zero tolerance approach to fraud - all fraud - and we will use the latest technology to carry out this major council tax anti-fraud initiative. "It's vitally important that council tax due is collected to pay for local services such as street cleaning, leisure centres, social services and education."Anyone who is claiming the 25% discount incorrectly is being urged to come forward by 28 February 2007 and notify the council before these checks are made to avoid the possibility of the council taking further action unnecessarily. After this date, claimants who are identified as being ineligible for the discount but are claiming it, face the prospect of a £50 civil penalty and/or possible prosecution under the Theft Act 1968 that could lead to a fine of £1,000.

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