EXTRA checks to ensure Bromsgrove residents are receiving the right discounts on council tax bills are being carried out over the next few weeks.

The checks are being carried out by Bromsgrove District Council.

Some people, currently in receipt of a 25 per cent discount from their council tax because they live alone, may receive a letter as part of the comprehensive checks being carried out for the authority by Nottingham-based Government data specialists Datatank.

The council's head of finance and customer access Amanda de Warr said: “It’s important that everyone gets the discounts they are entitled to because if some people aren’t paying the right amount, ultimately everyone ends up with higher tax bills.

“We are vigilant about fraud but that’s only one aspect of this. Sometimes someone may have only just moved out, or someone has moved in as a carer.

"There is always a range of issues and throughout these checks by Datatank each case will be considered on its own merits.”

The checks will compare various official data sources to identify any claims to discount that may need further attention, and then those proceed to validate those claims to root out changes in circumstances, errors and fraud.

Anyone whose discount is shown to require validation through this process will be asked for complete and up to date information, so that everything can be confirmed and changes made where necessary.

As the law now treats council tax fraud in a similar manner to benefit fraud, collection authorities - including the district council - are able to take cases of fraudulently unpaid tax to court and seek full repayment.