PEOPLE who suspect council tax or rates fraud is taking place in their community can report it to the Argyll and Bute Council fraud team.
There is a team whose role it is to prevent and detect fraud across the Argyll and Bute area.
In year 2016/17, the team helped detect 71 cases of fraud. Savings as a result to the taxpayer amounted to £131,000.
So far this year there have been savings of £51,000 with 28 cases reported to date.
Members of the public should get in touch if they believe fraud is being committed by a resident or local business.
There is a dedicated email address and phone number – firstname.lastname@example.org, 01546 604789 – and reports can be logged via the website: www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/reporting-fraud
Reports can be made anonymously and are treated in strictest confidence.
Policy Lead for Corporate Services, Councillor Rory Colville, said: “Council tax and business rates are in place to support the services the Council provides. It’s only right and fair that everyone contributes – it’s for the benefit of all.
“We should not tolerate people deliberately claiming council tax discounts when they are not eligible, or avoiding paying business rates when they should be. Most of us pay our way – so should everyone else where they are able to do so.”
Examples of fraud are:
Council tax: Claiming single person discount for council tax when a partner or other adult lives in the house, and claiming council tax reduction while working more hours than permitted for the discount.
Business rates: Avoiding paying costs by not declaring a business is located at a certain address, and falsely claiming rates relief.
The Council uses a variety of methods to prevent and detect fraud including matching records against those held by the Department for Work and Pensions and other government agencies, cross-matching internal details and using information from employers and credit reference agencies.
Further examples of fraud and how to report it are available on the Council website at the address above.