Council’s amnesty for tax claimants

PEOPLE who are wrongly claiming a Council Tax discount have until the end of next week to come clean – and avoid paying the penalty.

Rother District Council is running a two-week amnesty for people who receive the 25 per cent reduction on their bill through the single person discount when they are not entitled to it.

The amnesty, which runs until Friday September 12, is part of an anti-fraud review launched by a partnership of the five East Sussex district and borough councils and East Sussex County Council.

Previous reviews have saved the county’s taxpayers £2.1 million over the past three years and slashed the number of ineligible single person discount claims by 7.3 per cent.

Cllr Robin Patten, Rother District Council cabinet member for finance and value for money, told the Observer: “The vast majority of people receiving this discount are entitled to it as the sole occupant of their home.

“However, those who continue to claim this reduction when they don’t qualify for it – whether intentionally or due to an oversight – are costing the taxpayer money at a time when we’re all having to tighten our belts.

“People who fail to notify us promptly of a change in their circumstances may end up with a £70 penalty while those who make fraudulent claims could find themselves before the magistrates.

“I’d urge anyone who may be receiving this discount when they’re not entitled to it to check and to take advantage of the valuable window of opportunity offered by the amnesty and to get in touch.”

Anyone who would like to inform the district council they are incorrectly receiving the single person discount is asked to call the Council Tax team on 01424 787000 or email

People can use the same number for any enquiries about the single person discount or the amnesty, while people who are entitled to the discount but are not currently receiving it are also asked to get in touch.