Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Ceisteanna (218, 219, 220, 221, 222)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

218. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if there has been an audit of the operation of the tax relief at source, TRS, scheme since its establishment in 2002; and, if so, the person or body that conducted the audit. [26840/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

219. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners have audited the methodology used by banks to apply tax relief at source to the funding account (details supplied). [26841/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

220. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners apply an agreed definition of funding account; and the location this definition can be found. [26842/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

221. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the amount the tracker redress scandal has cost the State to date as a result of tax relief at source payments being applied incorrectly to the higher interest that was applied to these mortgages. [26843/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

222. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners has the power to investigate and to compel the bank to pay the tax relief at source in full in cases in which a shortfall arises between the value of TRS paid by the Revenue Commissioners to a bank and the value of TRS received by the mortgage holder from the bank. [26844/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 218 to 222, inclusive, together.

Mortgage interest relief is administered through the Tax Relief at Source (TRS) system. The relief is applied by the lenders based on information provided by Revenue, which is sourced from the borrower’s application.

Revenue carries out regular compliance checks on the lenders to ensure correct operation of the mortgage interest relief scheme. Additionally, all information in regard to the operation of the scheme is made available to the Comptroller & Auditor General for examination.

There is no set definition in the legislation of ‘funding account’ but a common understanding of the term is the account from which the mortgage payments are made by the borrower. 

Revenue is currently in discussions with the lending institutions to quantify the full amount of mortgage interest relief to be repaid on foot of the tracker redress programme. While the exact amount is not yet fully quantified, €2.8m has already been repaid to Revenue and it is expected that the remaining amounts will be recovered.

Under Section 244A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 Revenue can request a lender to provide information in relation to any qualifying mortgage loan in order to verify that the correct relief was applied and the lender must comply with the request within thirty days. On the rare occasion where a shortfall is identified Revenue will pay the amount due directly to the borrower.

Finally, Revenue has assured me that it always follows up with financial institutions in regard to any complaints or queries received from mortgage holders. If the Deputy has concerns or information in relation to the allocation method being used by a particular lender I would ask that she immediately informs Revenue so that the issue can be quickly investigated.