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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Revenue plans blitz on 250,000 households

A quarter of a million property owners ‘never paid the household charge’

Shane Phelan, Public Affairs Editor

Published 16/04/2014 | 11:49

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Josephine Feehily, Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners

THE Revenue Commissioners is planning a blitz on 250,000 property owners it believes never paid the household charge.

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Many of these will now face having the charge, plus interest and penalties, deducted from their salary.

The €100 charge, which was in a place for 2012, was later replaced by the local property tax.

It was originally collected by local authorities before the Revenue was given responsibility for chasing arrears last year.

Revenue chairman Josephine Feehily said this morning that letters were being sent to 250,000 households it believes are in arrears.

These households are now facing a charge of €213, after penalties and interest have been added to the initial payment.

Over 100,000 of those being targeted pay tax under PAYE and the letters will tell them the Revenue will advise employers to deduct the charge from wage packets.

"Anybody who hasn't paid the charge, we will find them. There is an inevitability about this," said Ms Feehily, who was speaking at the launch of Revenue's annual report for 2013.

The report shows the Revenue netted over half a billion euro last year from cases against tax dodgers.

Some €548m was recouped in tax, interest and penalties for the exchequer.

Data published this morning shows there were 484 criminal prosecutions by Revenue and the names of 450 tax defaulters were published.

However, the report shows there was a huge rate of compliance with the contentious local property tax. Some €242m was collected, with 94pc of households complying.

Three-quarters of these filings were made online, while almost one in ten householders is having the payment deducted at source from their income.

Net tax receipts for the year were €37.9bn, up €200m on 2012.

Statistics contained in the report indicate the shadow economy remains a huge problem.

There were 771,232 litres of illegally laundered fuel seized last year, 40.8 million cigarettes and 4,203kg of tobacco was seized. The cigarettes and tobacco seized had a value of almost €21m.

A further €1.34m in cash, suspected of representing the proceeds of crime, was also seized in 2013.

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