Revenue Chair to appear before Oireachtas committee on Property Tax

Monday 04 November 2013 23.59
Revenue chairperson Josephine Feehily will discuss the timing of the tax with TDs
Revenue chairperson Josephine Feehily will discuss the timing of the tax with TDs

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Revenue Commissioners Chair Josephine Feehily have met over the issues surrounding the property tax deadline and payment options.

Ms Feehily updated the minister of the Local Property Tax campaign and advised him that Revenue will be continuing its communications campaign.

Revenue will also appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on Thursday.

Ms Feehily said extra staff will deployed on its helpline from tomorrow and there are plans to increase capacity if necessary.

Earlier, Finance Committee Chairman Ciarán Lynch said Revenue needs to clarify the ambiguity and concerns surrounding the methods of property tax payment.

Mr Lynch said Thursday's meeting is a chance for the Committee to discuss the structure, timing and operation of the scheme.

"The purpose of the meeting is to deal with any ambiguity and concerns in regards to the payment of the local property tax and, in some circumstances, to establish how the issue of how premature payments is dealt with and how payments will be made when they are actually due,” he said in a statement this evening. 

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said that no one is obliged to pay the property tax before 2014.

He said there are different methods for paying it and if revenue wants to refine its approach in some shape or form he said he had no difficulty with that, but he said it is a matter for revenue.

He said: "There's different methodologies for paying it on the notice the Revenue issued, and if they want to refine the approach in some shape or form I've no difficulty with that.

"But quite clearly no one is obliged to pay it before 2014 and there's a whole range of different ways of ensuring you don't pay it before 2014."

Yesterday, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said Revenue would have to communicate better in relation to the options available to people for paying the tax.

Ms Burton said the letter sent to home-owners by Revenue was very "technical" and did not make the fact that people had the choice to pay the tax next year clear enough.

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said: "What's really important to note is that that nobody has to pay the property tax in 2013".

The minister said there were a "whole range of options, different ways that people can pay this tax"; and that it was "very important that people become very clear about those options".

Adding she had "no doubt" there would be "ongoing communication" by Revenue in relation to it.

Fianna Fáil's Finance Spokesman Michael McGrath has said the Government is to blame for people being charged now for property tax which doesn't fall due until the new year.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Deputy McGrath said the Revenue Commissioners were implementing legislation enacted by the Government which stipulates liability and filing dates in November and, as a consequence, those paying by credit and debit cards are being charged now for next year's property tax.

He said Fianna Fáil would be bringing forward an amendment to the legislation which would provide for the tax to be paid in the calendar year in which it is due.

He said the blame lay with the Government, and its legislation had opened the door to the problem.