Oxford

Cherwell council to get £100,000 from tax fraud

An Oxfordshire council has uncovered more than £100,000 of council tax fraud during a crackdown on false claimants.

The investigation by Cherwell District Council into single person discounts found at least 264 were fraudulent.

The authority said about £100,000 should be repaid to the council, while the cancelled claims will result in £99,000 extra income per year.

An amnesty held between November 2011 and January 2012 resulted in 42 people coming forward.

Since then the authority, working with outsourcing company Capita and credit-checking agency Experian, scrutinised the remaining 17,138 claims.

'Staggering amount'

About 100 residents were found to be claiming the wrong discount and 1,500 have been asked to provide evidence that their claims are valid.

Financial management councillor Ken Atack said: "This is a staggering amount of money we have been able to recover.

"There might be further cases of fraud out there and we will continue investigating until we uncover them all.

"While I accept that some people will not have intended to cheat the system, there were certainly plenty more who did."

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