Not reporting a change that can affect any type of reduction in
Council Tax will now result in a penalty of £70 being issued. A
penalty of £50 will be issued if you do not report a change that
affects your Housing Benefit entitlement.
To avoid a penalty, you must report your changes in
circumstances within one month of the change happening to avoid a
penalty. Do not rely on someone else to pass on the information,
not even the Job Centre, Pension Service or your landlord.
The Council is giving anyone who has not already reported a past
change affecting their entitlement the chance to do so up until the
1 May 2017 without a £70 or £50 penalty being issued.
A relevant change could be another adult moving in to a
property, or an increase in household income. These are only
examples and more information is available on our website at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/penalties.
If you are unsure if you are still entitled to a Council Tax
discount or Housing Benefit, please call us on 01935 462462 to
A spokesman for South Somerset District Council said,
"Recipients of a Council Tax discount (e.g. single person discount)
or exemption, Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit have a legal
duty to tell the Council about a change in their circumstances that
reduces the level of discount or benefit.
"Any reduction that a Council Tax payer continues to receive but
is not entitled to is lost income to South Somerset District
Council, Somerset County Council, Avon and Somerset Police, Devon
and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authorities and Parish Councils. This
either means everyone pays more in Council Tax or there is less
money for vital local services."
The Council has a compliance programme which is successful in
finding unreported changes but often they happened some time ago.
This leads to a large backdated bill or invoice being issued which
the individual then struggles to pay.
Council Tax penalties will normally be added to the Council Tax
account and a new bill issued. Housing Benefit penalties will
normally be collected from on-going benefit or through an
Introducing penalties is designed to encourage the swift
reporting of changes in circumstances which will benefit the
individual as well as the wider tax payer. That way we can make
sure everyone is getting the right amount of support.
Reporting a change is easy. There are online forms at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/online-services
or you can call 01935 462462. You can also visit any of our offices
to report your change.