That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 and the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Act 2013 in order to ensure that no payments are deducted by the Revenue Commissioners until the calendar year to which the local property tax liability relates.
This is simple legislation which is designed to deal with an issue which came to the fore late last year when we discovered that many people who wished to pay their local property tax liability by way of a debit card or credit card transaction had the money deducted from their cards immediately. This legislation provides that no payment can be deducted from a person in respect of their local property tax liability until the calendar year to which the liability relates. It is obviously too late for people who paid in late 2013, but the issue will arise again later this year when some people will be paying in advance for their 2015 liability. Despite some of the commentary at the time that this was about poor communications by Revenue, the Tánaiste asked Revenue to reconsider the deadlines.
It comes down to an issue of legislation. The initial legislation in 2012 was rushed. There was an amendment Bill some months later in 2013 but a simple measure, such as the Bill before us, would address the situation that has arisen. No person would therefore be required to pay the local property tax charge until the calendar year to which the liability relates. I hope we will have a debate on this proposed change shortly.