Woman pretended to be single to get council tax discount

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A woman has been left more than £1,000 out of pocket after being caught falsely claiming she was single - so she could get money off her council tax bill.

The law allows councils to give people living alone a 25 per cent discount on their annual Council Tax Bill.

But on Friday, Milton Keynes Magistrates heard how Karen Anne Adams, 35, claimed the discount despite another adult being registered at her address, in Tarbert Close, Bletchley.

She was fined £130 and ordered to pay costs of £150, as well as a victim surcharge of £20.

The court heard that Ms Adams claimed Single Person’s discount between 2012 and 2015, and she was ordered to pay back the full amount of £1022.79.

The case came to light following a national Fraud Initiative match that was made linking the Electoral Register to Milton Keynes Council’s Council Tax database.

This showed that Ms Adams had a Single Person Discount (SPD) in place but that she wasn’t the only adult living at her address. Ms Adams had never declared this.

The council established, through various other checks, that Ms Adams definitely did not live alone. As a result she was interviewed last July and she confirmed that another adult had been living with her at the address since 2008 and certainly throughout the period that she was claiming the discount from 2012.

She fully admitted that she had been untruthful on her application form and had falsely claimed a Single Occupancy Discount. As a result Ms Adams was prosecuted by the council.

An Internal Audit spokesperson said: “Milton Keynes Council will robustly pursue those people who commit Council Tax fraud in any guise. Where appropriate as in this case, they will be prosecuted and reparation will be sought to recover monies owed to the taxpayers of Milton Keynes.”