Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (62)

Micheál Martin


62. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he will review with Revenue the position on whether taxes can only be paid online by a person; if he will confirm whether it is the case that certain taxes may only be paid online by non-ROS-registered persons; if this is the case, whether he considers this to be reasonable for those who do not have easy online access or limited computer skills; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42634/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the Deputy may be referring to Local Property Tax (LPT), where individuals who own more than one property are obliged by law to file and pay their LPT online even if they are not ROS registered. In the context of Government policy on e-Government and e-payments, and Revenue’s strategic objective of establishing the use of electronic channels as the norm, this seems to me to be a reasonable approach. Filing and paying of LPT is easier and more efficient online and taxpayers get more time to file.

Many owners of multiple properties impacted by this provision are in the business of letting those properties and it is improbable that they are not e-enabled for other purposes. However, recognising the need to provide an alternative service, the LPT legislation explicitly provides that a liable person may nominate another person – such as an agent or family member – to file on his or her behalf. Furthermore, from the outset, Revenue advised that owners of multiple properties could call to a Revenue office where staff would assist them to file their return electronically on Revenue computers. Finally, I am advised that during the LPT filing season Revenue recognised this requirement was causing difficulties in a number of instances where liable persons own small numbers of properties, and they provided a further option to pay and file by telephone.

I am satisfied that Revenue’s response provides an appropriate range of options for owners of multiple properties to meet their LPT obligations.