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.