Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (85)

Michael Healy-Rae


85. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 51 and 61 of 10 October 2013, the position regarding property tax in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45536/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it is incorrect to state that the person in question only selected one payment option when completing her 2013 Local Property Tax (LPT) Return. Revenue has examined the return submitted and has confirmed to me that the person selected three different options, including direct debit, deduction at source from her Department of Social Protection payment and payment via a service provider. Every person completing an LPT Return has the full range of payment options available to choose from and is entitled to select the method that best suits individual circumstances. The person in question is no different in this regard. I commend Revenue for the wide range of payment options that it has made available to assist people in meeting their LPT obligations.

Revenue refutes the Deputy’s allegation of incompetence and states it has made every effort to assist the person in question in meeting her obligations. Revenue cannot be blamed for the incorrect completion of the payment option segment of the LPT Return. As I stated to the Deputy in reply to Questions Nos. 51 and 61 of 10 October, the information supplied to Revenue by liable persons for deduction at source from a Department of Social Protection pension is electronically transferred between both computer systems and Revenue cannot validate the accuracy of the data provided in advance of the data transfer.

Revenue has also informed me that the daughter of the person in question has been offered assistance on two separate occasions. On foot of the first conversation Revenue confirmed and activated the person’s preferred payment option of ‘payment service provider’ and considered the matter to be closed until the Deputy’s Parliamentary Questions on 10 October. On foot of those Questions, a member of the Revenue LPT team made direct contact with the person’s daughter and explained the various payment options. The official also outlined the eligibility criteria for deferral of LPT should the person wish to consider making such an application.

The Deputy also asked how the person in question should apply for deferral of LPT. I am informed that, from the information available to Revenue, it appears that the person qualifies for deferral based on her income. Should she wish to avail of that option, she or her daughter on her behalf should contact the LPT Helpline at 1890 200 255 and the LPT team will provide every assistance. The person can still pay her LPT on a phased basis between now and the end of the year should she choose to do so and again the LPT Branch will be glad to offer any advice in this regard.

The deferred tax, including interest, will become a charge on the property until the tax is paid. If the property is sold or transferred, any outstanding LPT charges would have to be paid at that point. The interest will be charged on the deferred amounts from the due date of payment until such time as it is paid, at a daily rate of 0.011%, which equates to 4% per annum. Anyone who has been allowed a deferral may at any time make either a full or partial payment of the deferred amount. Revenue has provided detailed guidance on deferrals at should the Deputy require any further information.

In summary, Revenue has made every effort to date to assist the person in question in meeting her LPT obligations. I urge the Deputy to offer the person in question every assistance in understanding and concluding her 2013 LPT affairs as quickly as possible thereby removing any stress that the delay might be causing for her.