Council deducting £150 payments from people’s accounts after rebate bug mess

In a statement, the council said: “We are aware that 25,000 tax refund payments from the council have been duplicated, meaning some residents have received the payment twice

Some Leeds residents were paid twice, while others were not paid at all

Leeds City Council is reclaiming almost £4million from residents after accidentally paying households the mandatory tax refund twice.

An error in the processing of the payments meant around 25,000 people got double the £150 rebate they were owed.

The council are now trying to recover the total of £3.75million that they shouldn’t have paid out.

In an online statement, the council said: “We are aware that a significant number (25,000) of council tax refund payments have been duplicated, meaning some residents have received the payment twice.

“This is due to a process error where the same payment file was incorrectly processed twice after initially being rejected by the bank. We are working with our bank to recover the duplicate payments so the situation can be rectified as soon as possible.

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Some Leeds residents were paid twice, while others were not paid at all


(Getty Images)

“We would advise residents to check the relevant accounts and bear in mind that duplicate payments will be collected.

“We would like to apologize for any confusion or inconvenience the duplicate payments may have caused. Our officials have been working hard to ensure residents receive the £150 rebate as quickly as possible and 120,000 payments have been made correctly.”

The post was inundated with comments from confused local residents, many of whom claimed they had yet to receive payment.

Rea Bea wrote: “Some people have received 2 payments but I have not received any.”

McCreesh PJ agreed, “The first payment would be nice, let alone the second.” And Holly Rooney added, “I haven’t even received my rebate and it was due last week.”

One resident also said she received a duplicate payment but was not told how to return it when she asked about it.

Helena Sykes said: “I received a duplicate payment today and called to let them know but they said they don’t know how I could return the money, will it be taken automatically or do we get a separate bill and money instructions to get it back ?”

Council tax refunds worth £150 will be deposited into bank accounts across the country from this month as part of a Tory pledge to help households tackle a cost-of-living crisis.

But while Leeds Council has wrongly reimbursed tens of thousands of households, many residents in parts of the country are still waiting for the refund – 28 days later.

For many, it could take as long as September 30 to receive the refund.

Those who pay their council tax by direct debit will receive the payments first as the councils already have their data in the system.

Martyn James of consumer rights website Resolver said: “The current advice is to go to your local government website where there should be some updates.

“I checked a few and some are clearly lacking in information. So don’t worry if the website hasn’t been updated yet.

“Many councils are asking people not to contact them to ask about the discount.

“But you can turn to your council for help and support if you’re worried about paying the tax if you’re having financial difficulties.”

South Derbyshire County Council does not expect to pay out the £150 rebates until “early June 2022”, our research has found.

According to the local authority, it is still waiting for a provider’s payment software, which should arrive at the end of April.

Hastings Borough Council, South Lakeland District Council and Halton Borough Council all said households should receive their £150 rebate by the end of May.

In North Tyneside, residents are due to be paid from early May.

View the full list of municipalities with council tax refund arrears here.

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Fry Electronics Team

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