Gosport Borough Council use new checks to help with tax fraud crackdown

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

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ELECTRONIC checks will be used to fight council tax fraud under a new scheme by Gosport Borough Council.

It comes as part of a crackdown on fraudsters who illegally claim a single person discount on their council tax when they actually live with a partner.

The council will now start electronically comparing tax information with other databases to uncover homes on the single occupants’ register which have more than one person living there.

Leader of the council, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘Most council tax discounts are being claimed honestly and legitimately. But there is a minority who believe they can cheat the system and claim discounts they are not entitled to.

‘This new system of checks will help catch them.’

A third of Gosport’s 36,000 homes receive a single person occupancy discount.

It is thought around five per cent of these are wrongly paid, costing the council around £200,000 a year. Taxpayers must tell the council within 21 days if they are no longer entitled to a discount.

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