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Revenue chairwoman to face TDs' questioning on pensions debacle

Josephine Feehily is to attend tomorrow’s meeting of the Oireachtas Finance committee, along with Social Protection officials.

Revenue chairwoman Josephine Feehily will be questioned by TDs and Senators tomorrow.
Revenue chairwoman Josephine Feehily will be questioned by TDs and Senators tomorrow.
Image: James Horan/Photocall ireland

THE CHAIRWOMAN of the Revenue Commissioners is to face questioning from TDs and Senators tomorrow on the circumstances surrounding how 115,000 pensioners were told they may have to face additional tax bills this year.

Josephine Feehily will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on the fallout from last week’s disclosure that the Revenue had told 115,000 they would face an extra tax bill this year – incorrectly in some cases.

Officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will also attend the meeting to discuss the handling of the issue.

Labour TD Alex White, who chairs the committee, said he was “pleased” that Feehily and the officials had agreed to attend, and to discuss “the communication of the tax situation for some older people”.

“No-one will argue with the necessity of tax compliance on the part of all citizens,” White said. “However, many pensioners are unsure of where they stand on their tax liability, and need reassurance.

“At our meeting tomorrow, we will be seeking clarity on the matter, and looking at how this situation was handled.”

TDs will also question Revenue on its broader communications strategy and how it might be reviewed. The meeting will begin at 2pm tomorrow, and a live stream will be available here.

It has separately emerged that up to 15,000 pensioners will pay extra tax this year, even though they are not liable for it – but that this cash will be refunded to them “as quickly as possible”.

Michael Noonan has rebuffed criticism that he made no mention of the data exchange between the Revenue and the Department of Social Protection, saying it was public knowledge that the data was to be shared with the goal of saving €45 million.

Read: Ombudsman raises concerns over Revenue contact with tax-compliant pensioners

More: Opposition cry foul over Revenue pensions ‘mess-up’

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Gavan Reilly

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