Report council tax fraud
Council tax fraud costs all taxpayers. If you suspect someone of committing council tax fraud, you can report it in a number of ways.
You can make a report anonymously - you do not have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.
Examples of council tax fraud
Council tax fraud can take many forms. It happens when people provide false information to get a discount/council tax reduction or they don't tell us about a change in circumstances. Examples of this can include:
- not telling us about a partner or additional adult living with you
- claiming council tax reduction because of a low income but not telling us about all your earnings such as income from 'cash in hand' work or undeclared employment
- not declaring benefits, occupational pensions, savings or bank accounts
- claiming to be a student when you're not
- falsely stating a tenant is resident to avoid the empty property premium
What happens after you report someone
We will look at the information you give. We will only take action if we find the person has been committing council tax fraud. Action can include asking for monies to be repaid or taking them to court. Depending on the offence, the outcome of any prosecution can vary from community hours, a fine or in the most serious cases imprisonment.
Why we need to stop council tax fraud
Some people believe that council tax fraud is a victimless crime and is therefore okay. This is not the case. Council tax fraud costs councils around £30.6m a year, with 78.9% of all fraud being linked to council tax. It takes money away from vital resources and services, meaning the real victims are the residents of County Durham.