Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Ceisteanna (252, 253)

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Ceist:

298 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Finance the procedures which exist for grievances regarding dealing with taxation matters; if persons can deal with queries by phone if they do not receive satisfactory levels of service via the post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14703/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that any taxpayer has a right to seek a review of Revenue's handling of his or her tax or customs affairs, or of a decision made by a Revenue official. The right is specifically recognised in Revenue's customer service charter. In the majority of cases, a senior Revenue official in the taxpayer's local Revenue office carries out the review. The review is commenced as soon as a request is received.

The Revenue Commissioners state that normally the best and quickest way to resolve most customer service complaints is to contact the Revenue office dealing with the person's tax affairs by phone, letter, email or personal contact. A Revenue staff member will try to resolve the complaint without delay. However, if the staff member cannot resolve the complaint, or if the person is unhappy with the response, he or she may ask that the local manager reviews the matter. If the person is still unhappy, he or she can have their complaint referred to the customer service manager in the relevant region or division. Contact details are available on the revenue website,www.revenue.ie/aboutus.

If the matter still cannot be resolved the taxpayer may have their case reviewed either internally by a senior Revenue officer outside the region or by an external reviewer acting in conjunction with a senior Revenue officer. Over the years the procedures have operated successfully in a wide range of issues. Details of how to avail of Revenue's customer service complaints procedures are set out in Revenue leaflet CS4 which is available onwww.revenue.ie.

A taxpayer aggrieved by an assessment to income tax or corporation tax or by a determination of the Revenue Commissioners regarding these taxes has a right of appeal against an assessment or determination. The appeal must be lodged, in writing, with the regional Revenue office dealing with the taxpayer's tax affairs, within 30 days of the assessment or determination issuing. If the matter is not subsequently settled by agreement between the local manager and the taxpayer, the appeal will eventually be heard and adjudicated upon by the appeal commissioner. If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the ruling of the appeal commissioner, the appeal may be reheard by a Circuit Court judge and be referred to the High Court and the Supreme Court, on a point of law.

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Ceist:

299 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Finance if he will direct the Revenue Commissioners to investigate the delay and frustration being experienced by a person (details supplied) in County Dublin regarding dealings with the Dublin South County PAYE tax district; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14704/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that, in the case referred to by the Deputy, a return of income for 2004 was received on 23 January 2006 and this was dealt with when a PAYE balancing statement issued to the taxpayer on 1 February 2006 showing an underpayment of €23.46. The claim made for a refund of tuition fees amounting to €2,042.50 was not granted as insufficient information had been provided on the return of income. The taxpayer supplied additional information on 7 February 2006. This was examined, and a further letter issued from Revenue on 10 March 2006 seeking the following additional information: whether the course is an undergraduate or postgraduate course; if any portion of the fees will be refunded to the person from any source such as by his employer or by way of grant or scholarship; and details of where previously conferred with a certificate, diploma or degree in respect of an undergraduate course of more than two years duration.

This information is still required to finalise the claim made for a refund of tuition fees and the taxpayer should now arrange to send this to Ms Marion McBride, Dublin South County District, Revenue Commissioners, The Plaza Complex, Tallaght, Dublin 24 where it will be dealt with on receipt. The Revenue letter that issued on 10 March 2006 was generated from the computer system and should have contained the name of the district manager and the 1890 telephone number. If these were omitted, the Revenue Commissioners apologise for any inconvenience caused to the taxpayer.