Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (194)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

194. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Finance if he will clarify the position regarding the local property tax for a family (details supplied) in Dublin 12; if the family’s concerns can be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5675/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the Local Property Tax (LPT) records of the individual in question have been corrected and that a refund of the monies deducted in error from his occupational pension was made. However it appears that additional deductions have been made in error by the pension provider.

In regard to the multiple property records in this case, an incorrect property record was set up at the time that the LPT Register was compiled. During the registration process the property record, which was linked to another person, was imported from a non-Revenue source, and added to the Register. A key aspect of the work undertaken in regard to LPT was the development of a comprehensive register of residential properties in the State. During the building of the Property Register some matching difficulties were encountered when consolidating the various Government and non-Government data sources used, and in a small number of cases properties were incorrectly associated with persons on the basis of information imported from other sources.

The individual in question contacted Revenue, during April 2013, to request that a LPT Return be issued to him. At this point a property record was set up for him by a Revenue official. He filed his LPT Return and payment for the property correctly linked to him but unfortunately he was subsequently linked to the duplicate property and this resulted in the issue of a payment reminder and the issue of a deduction instruction from his occupational pension during August 2013. Revenue received a number of contacts from the property owner but failed to fully rectify the issues raised until mid-October 2013 when an instruction was issued to the pension provider to cease deductions. He was then asked to confirm the amount deducted from his pension and a refund of the deductions made in error was initiated in mid-December and issued in early January.

It now appears that the pension provider did not act on the instruction, issued by Revenue in October, to cease deductions from his pension. Revenue has confirmed to me that an official has already made direct contact with his daughter to explain why the deductions have continued and to offer an apology for the errors made. Revenue will issue a refund for the additional deductions made by the pension provider in the coming days.

Finally, Revenue experienced unprecedented demand for service by letter, email and telephone during the past year and errors were inevitable in such an environment. Nevertheless the errors made in the handling of this case and the delay in resolving the issues arising is very much regretted.