Warning is issued over firm's council tax refund letters
HOUSEHOLDERS in Derby are being advised not to engage a company which is writing to people offering to help reduce their council tax bill.
Derby City Council says six complaints have been made to its trading standards department about the letters, which have been posted across the city.
They are from a company offering a "no win, no fee" service for people wanting to reduce their council tax bill. If successful, the company takes a cut of the resulting refund.
Council leader Paul Bayliss said people's council tax band could be checked free of charge.
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He said: "We urge residents who are approached to think very carefully before engaging with these firms.
"They are in no way associated with Derby City Council, and we, or any firm we work with, would not make an approach like this.
"Council tax banding can be checked for free, so any residents wishing to check if theirs is correct should contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)."
Mr Bayliss said people who did choose to engage firms like the one behind the letter should "remember any business that handles such claims must usually be authorised by the claims management regulator".
Those wanting to check their council tax banding can call the VOA on 03000 503 600. It is responsible for setting council tax bands on all domestic properties and will be able to review bands and give free advice.
If successful and the banding is reduced, the VOA will tell the council, customers will have their tax account amended and they will get a refund.
To check if a business is authorised by the claims management regulator, visit www.claimsregulation.gov. uk/search.aspx.