Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (188)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

188. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners are willing to negotiate settlements with persons who face a double charge for an unpaid household charge. [21138/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that with effect from 1 July 2013, Section 156 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) converted arrears of Household Charge (HHC) to Local Property Tax (LPT), increased the liability from €100 to €200 per property and made Revenue responsible for its collection.

As part of Revenue's recent HHC compliance programme, property owners whose records indicated that the liability had not been paid were notified of the outstanding charge and advised to either pay within a specified period of time or confirm the reasons as to why the liability was not due.

Revenue has confirmed to me that while it does not have any discretion to accept 'settlement' payments of amounts other than the statutory €200 charge, it has made all of the payment methods that are available for LPT also available for HHC to ease any burden on citizens. From these options, persons with outstanding liabilities can choose the payment method that best suits their individual circumstances. For the Deputy's information the options include phased payments through the approved service providers (An Post, Omnivend and Payzone), direct debit and deduction at source over the course of the year from employment or occupational pension.

The Deputy should be aware that liable persons who opt for phased payment by service provider or direct debit may be liable to processing charges by the provider or the financial institution, which is outside of Revenue's control. However there is no charge in respect of the deduction at source option, which is administered by Revenue.

Question No. 189 answered with Question No. 178.