Nearly 1,000 people in Sutton are owed a council tax refund, it has been revealed.
Sutton Council currently owes £368,022 of overpaid council tax to its residents, an investigation by the Local Democracy Reporting Service using Freedom of Information powers shows.
Overall there are 993 overpaid accounts in the borough.
The authority says that there are a number of reasons for accounts to be overpaid, including property band changes or moving out of the borough.
Usually overpayments are automatically refunded but this isn’t possible if someone changes their bank details.
A council spokesperson said: “There are a number of reasons why council tax accounts can become overpaid. These range from exemption and/or discounts, property band changes, council tax reduction awards or moving out of the borough. Some customers even overpay routinely to reduce the amount they have to pay in future years.
“Generally speaking, if an account becomes overpaid and we already know the customer’s bank account details (as they may have paid by direct debit for example), then these overpayments are automatically refunded.
“However, if a change occurs on a customer’s account where we don’t have their bank details, then a refund claim form is sent to the customer with the credit bill/notification. The council will then arrange a refund of the overpaid sums on receipt of the completed form.
“If any overpayments are showing on a customer’s account at year end – 31 March each year – and they are liable to pay council tax in the year ahead, then this credit is automatically offset against the new year’s bill, reducing it down.”
The spokesperson added that end the end of the tax year some of the overpayments would be offset against the next year’s charges, this is how some residents are paid back.