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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Revenue helpline firm nets €6.2m fees

Gordon Deegan

Published 12/08/2014 | 02:30

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Abtran operates the helpline for the Revenue’s local property tax (LPT) and household charge
Abtran operates the helpline for the Revenue’s local property tax (LPT) and household charge

The Cork-based firm, Abtran, that operates the helpline for the Revenue's local property tax (LPT) and household charge (HHC) has received €6.2m in fees since March of last year.

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According to figures provided by the Revenue Commissioners, Abtran has received €2.63m in fees for the first six months of this year alone. This is in addition to the €3.58m the firm received in fees in 2013.

The figures show that the firm received fees of €401,282 in the first quarter of this year and received an additional €2.23m between March and the end of June.

Abtran secured the Revenue contract after an open competitive tender. The company has unlimited status and is not required to file its annual accounts to the Companies Office.

A spokeswoman for Revenue said yesterday Abtran had handled close to 1.3 million calls on behalf of Revenue, from March 2013 up to the end of July 2014.

She added that very large volumes of Local Property Tax (LPT) returns were issued during March/April and October/November 2013 and in excess of 400,000 Household Charge (HHC) notices were issued during the April to June 2014 period.

She also revealed that in excess of 250,000 LPT compliance letters have been issued periodically since July 2013.

Up to the end of June 2014, Revenue has collected €310m in respect of LPT and HHC, €10.5m ahead of target.

Revenue pointed out that Abtran delivered information and assistance to taxpayers having difficulty understanding Local Property Tax, completing their returns and making payments.

However, the detailed Revenue figures for the first six months of this year show that Abtran wasn't the biggest winner in contracts from Revenue.

Accenture (Ireland) received fees totalling €6.2m between January and the end of June for providing external IT resources. Revenue is one of An Post's largest customers and between January and the end of June this year, An Post received €2.597m from Revenue.

Fees paid out to legal firms topped €2.1m, with the figures showing that Lavelle Coleman received €432,510 in fees with Mason Hayes and Curran receiving €323,474 and Matheson receiving €245,425 in fees.

Other legal firms to receive payments included Ivor Fitzpatrick, which received €245,447, while Pierse & Fitzgibbon received €249,464 and Holmes O'Malley Sexton received €243,356.

Irish Independent

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