Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Questions (80)

Róisín Shortall


80. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance if he will seek an immediate explanation from the Revenue Commissioners regarding the issues that have arisen with the payment system for the local property tax; the way it is proposed to address these matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21870/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that over 500,000 people have already successfully filed their LPT Returns to date, and either paid immediately or selected one of the other available payment options. The April tax receipts reported that some €22m has already been paid to the Exchequer in respect of LPT. The high volumes of filers and payments received suggest that most people are successfully interacting with the payments systems and meeting their obligations in a timely fashion.

To ensure continued high compliance rates Revenue is providing a dedicated LPT helpline at 1890 200 255 to assist any person that might be experiencing some difficulties in navigating the various payment or filing options and this service is proving to be very beneficial in supporting people in meeting their LPT obligations. Revenue has confirmed to me that the LPT helpline is currently experiencing heavy volumes of phone calls from the public ranging from 9,000 calls on 24 April to 15,000 calls on 1 May. I am assured that the vast majority of callers are very satisfied with the service being provided.

In regard to the specific case highlighted by the Deputy, it seems that the issue relates to confirmation of a payment of LPT, which was made via the Revenue on-line system. That being the case, the person in question can personally view his/her payment record. The person can view his/her LPT balance, via, once the payment is fully processed and available to Revenue. Debit/Credit card payments for instance can take up to one week to be cleared by the card service providers. Revenue has no influence on the duration of the clearance period for card payments. A payment confirmation number is generated as a receipt of payment for the customer. Once the payment is cleared and updated to the person’s LPT (Revenue) account then he/she will be able to view the balance online.

Revenue very carefully monitors the LPT Helpline to ensure the quality of service is of the highest order. The call centre operations are supervised at all times and are subject to ongoing scrutiny through call evaluation and ‘mystery shopper’ campaigns. Unfortunately it is not possible for Revenue to isolate the call to which the Deputy has referred to from the information supplied. However, all the calls to the helpline are recorded. Therefore if the Deputy could provide additional information such as the name and address of the person, the date and time of call, name of operator if available and phone number from which the call was made, Revenue will fully investigate the complaint.