The taxman says three and a half million people are due a refund, but two million will have to fork out for underpaid tax.
Sublet tenants 'could face jail'
MP Richard Harrington claims up to 150,000 council tenants could be subletting their homes
Bogus social housing tenants who sublet their properties for profit could face being jailed for two years under plans set out in the Commons.
MPs heard up to 150,000 homes provided by councils or housing associations could be sublet at market rents, with the tenants benefiting by thousands of pounds.
Tory MP Richard Harrington said new laws were needed to tackle the problem, which was denying the genuinely deserving from their chance at getting a council house.
His Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Bill would make it a criminal offence to sublet a social property without permission.
Housing associations and other providers would also be able to recover the profits made by the tenant in illegally renting out the property.
"I think the criminalisation of this fraud is long overdue and it is something that many housing associations have called on for some time," Mr Harrington said.
"It is an outrage that people, estimates of the numbers are up to 150,000 social tenancies - 50,000 being the most conservative, 150,000 being the National Audit Office figure - are illegally subletting properties.
"Typically this is somebody who qualifies for a social tenancy, because they have the necessary points in the scoring system, sign a contract with a social housing provider and then illegally sublet it to a tenant who, in many cases, is paying a market rent for that property and then either pocketing the difference between either what they are paying themselves or what is being paid as part of their housing benefit.
"This is not simply taking advantage financially of the situation it is also ... meaning that a family that is on a waiting list and would be entitled to that property is not able to occupy it."
Under the Bill, tenants who sublet a property without permission would face a fine or up to two years in prison.
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