Friday 22 September 2017

Revenue spends €21m collecting property tax

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

MORE than 10pc of the property tax take has been spent on administration, new figures show.

The Revenue Commissioners has collected some €191m in the controversial charge since it came into force on July 1 last, but has spent more than €21m setting up the systems needed to collect the tax.

But the cost of administration will fall over the coming years. Revenue has previously said it would cost a total of €46m to put in place the processes needed to collect the tax, with almost €26m allocated for 2013.

Another €10m will be needed in 2014 and 2015, and the cost of running the system is expected to fall to €5m per year thereafter.

Among the big winners is a Cork-based company which operates the property tax helpline, which has been paid more than €1.7m so far this year.

Abtran, which found itself embroiled in controversy after an unauthorised staff member sought credit card details from members of the public, was paid the money in recent months by the Revenue Commissioners.

New figures also show that the taxman paid a company named Autoaddress more than €150,000 to help identify property-owners across the State.

Autoaddress captures addresses from An Post's Geodirectory, which lists some 1.7 million buildings across the State. It was paid €150,079.50 in the first half of the year.

An Post-owned Billpost was paid €216,512.51 for helping manage payment processes.

PAYMENT

The postal service also received €1.15m for handling millions of letters sent to property owners demanding payment of the tax.

New figures also show:

* The salaries of temporary and permanent staff tasked with collecting the tax amounted to €7.7m.

* IT systems cost €5.8m to develop, while the bill for the call centre and outsourcing amounted to €2.2m.

* Another €596,000 was spent on advertising, some €492,000 on offices and fit-out and €399,000 on financial transaction charges.

* The printing bill amounted to €209,000, valuers were paid €66,000 to help compile a list of suggested property values while training costs came to €35,000.

* While another €27,000 was spent on security.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News