Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Questions (42)

Michael Ring


42. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Finance if he will liaise with the Revenue Commissioners to ensure that queries sent to the local property tax section via email are answered to enable homeowners to notify the Revenue Commissioners of their correct liability for 2014 before the online filing date of 27 November; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50987/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the introduction of Local Property Tax (LPT) amounted to the largest extension of the self-assessment system in its history and represents a very great administrative challenge. For example, Revenue has answered in excess of 750,000 telephone calls and replied to in excess of 210,000 letters or emails since March 2013. Revenue has taken LPT from concept to a fully functioning tax in a very short period of time, including the enacting of legislation, the building of a brand new Property Register and the provision of customer service to such a large volume of taxpayers.

I am further advised that while Revenue strives to adhere to normal customer service standards and issue responses to all correspondence within thirty days, exceptional peaks can sometimes extend the response time beyond the normal timeframe. Currently Revenue is experiencing very high volumes of both telephone and written correspondence for LPT, including email, and unfortunately as a consequence the standards are not being met in all circumstances. However, Revenue has confirmed to me that significant extra resources have been deployed to deal with the volumes and it is anticipated that backlogs will be worked in the coming weeks. Revenue has also confirmed that any taxpayers that have submitted genuine queries in respect of their 2014 obligations in advance of the filing date will be treated as having complied with their requirements on time, provided they conclude their filing obligations immediately after their query is dealt with.