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‘Tens of thousands’ of household charge warning letters sent in error

The agency responsible for administering and collecting the charge says that householders who have received a letter but have paid the charge should contact them.

Image: Images of Money via Flickr/Creative Commons

TENS OF THOUSANDS of letters warning householders of their need to pay the household charge despite them having already paid it may have been sent in error, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) has admitted.

Homeowners have been complaining in their thousands in recent weeks of having received letters warning them of the need to pay the controversial €100 tax despite having already paid it.

In the latest letters sent last week, householders were warned that they faced a payment of €127 including penalties and interest but some of those who have received letters have already paid, the LGMA – the agency responsible for administering and collecting the tax – said.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the chief executive of the LGMA, Paul McSweeney, said: “We don’t know how many but we know certainly from the records that we have in our own contact centre that two thirds of the calls we’re getting in are relating to people who have already paid.”

He later admitted it could be ‘tens of thousands’ of people and explained that the problems had arisen from trying to match data from various sources which had entered names and addresses in different ways or with errors such as not using post codes.

McSweeney explained: “We are taking data sets that were never intended to be matched and are trying to use those as a method of creating the property database.

“These things are unfortunately happening and what we don’t want to do is start sending letters to people who shouldn’t be getting it. That’s not our intention, we don’t want to send them another letter but what we are asking for is the co-operation of the public.”

He said that any household who has received a letter in error should contact the agency: “If you have received a letter in error, tell us. We will change things.”

Read: Late payment penalties for household charge going up by €127

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Hugh O'Connell

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