Council tax and benefits penalties
Basildon Council has the power to issue financial penalties in relation to Council Tax, Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) and Housing Benefit for failure to notify a change of circumstances or provide requested information.
Council Tax Penalty
You must report a change in your circumstances to the Council within 21 days if this change would mean that you would no longer be entitled to a discount or exemption. For example someone moving in or out of your property. Council Tax legislation states that if you do not notify the Council of a change within this time, without a reasonable excuse, a penalty charge of £70 can be applied to your Council Tax account.
If we have sent a letter requesting details to identify the liable person at a property and we do not receive a response, or if false information is provided then a penalty charge of £70 can be applied to your Council Tax account. If the same information is requested a second time and we receive no response or false information, a penalty charge of £280 can be applied. This can be repeated.
A Council Tax penalty would be applied to the Council Tax account. If this is not paid then it can lead to recovery action being taken. The right of appeal against a Council Tax penalty is through the Valuation Tribunal.
Local Council Tax Support and Council Tax Reduction Penalties
In all cases where a person has failed to notify a change in their circumstances that leads to a reduction of their Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) or Council Tax Reduction (CTR), a penalty of £70 can be applied. The penalty would be applied to the Council Tax account. If this is not paid then it can lead to recovery action being taken. The right of appeal against an LCTS or CTR penalty is through the Valuation Tribunal.
Housing Benefit penalty
There are three cases where a civil penalty of £50 may be imposed for Housing Benefit purposes, these are:
- Where a person makes an incorrect statement or representation or provides incorrect information or evidence.
- A person fails without reasonable excuse to provide information or evidence which then results in an overpayment.
- A person fails to notify a change of circumstances which then results in an overpayment.
A Housing Benefit civil penalty is recovered in the same manner as the Housing Benefit overpayment.
The right of appeal against a Housing Benefit civil penalty is to the Council. We will reconsider the decision to apply the penalty and if necessary make a submission to the Appeals Tribunal.