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Administrative issues stop some welfare recipients paying property tax

The problems relate to those who had chosen to pay through social welfare reductions but were not eligible.

A ‘SMALL NUMBER’  of people who chose to pay their Local Property Tax through reductions in social welfare payments are yet to make any payment because of administrative issues.

According to the Revenue Commissioners, the problems occurred when a number of property owners either selected the wrong social welfare payment type, selected a social welfare payment where reductions at source did not apply or were found not to be in receipt of any social welfare payment.

The information came to light last month in response to a Dáil question put to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan by Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath.

McGrath was asking about a Department of Social Protection facility put in place to allow customers, when making arrangements with revenue, to choose to pay their property tax over an extended period from their social welfare payments.

Noonan said that in cases where the wrong payment was selected, it was subsequently corrected and deduction at source in these cases should have already commenced.

He added however that in the other two cases mentioned above, the Revenue Commissioners contacted the property owner for it to be corrected, advising them to select an alternative payment method for the property tax. According to Minister Noonan however, in a “small subset” of cases, this has not yet occurred:

The commissioners also advise that, where operational and administrative issues have arisen, they have been addressed on a case by case basis, and there may be a residue of cases where deduction at source from social welfare payments has not yet commenced as these are currently being worked by Revenue.

15,500 property owners

Noonan confirmed that approximately 15,500 residential property owners opted to pay their property tax obligations by way of a deduction at source from a social welfare payment.

This represented a  total liability of €2.26 million in 2013 with the minster confirming that latest figures showed that approximately €720,000 had been collected by revenue to date.

The Minster also said that up to the end of August, just over €21 million had been spent on setting up the operations of the Local Property Tax. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform last December made a provision of €25.9 million in 2013 for its’ implementation.

Read: Over 75 per cent valued homes at less than €200,000 in property tax return >

Read: People who overpaid property tax to get details on how they can claim refunds >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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