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Friday 22 August 2014

Revenue targets 2,000 more pensioners in blitz on tax repayment

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Published 08/04/2013 | 06:39

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THE Revenue has issued over 2,000 more letters to pensioner demanding tax repayments in an operation that has already netted €6.4m.

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However, the same operation also discovered that some pensioner were paying too much tax and €1.1m was refunded, reducing the amount clawed back to €5.3m.

There was controversy last year when more than 100,000 pensioner were issued with letters warning them that they might owe tax if they had not declared their state pension of up to €230 per week for tax purposes.

Even though they were all receiving another private pension, it turned out that many of them had no tax liability at all.

But the Revenue switched to a more targeted approach and went after 2,600 older people with personal pensions worth over €50,000 as well as the state pension.

It has now moved on to another group of 2,200 older people with personal pensions worth between €30,000 and €40,000 as well as the state pension.

The Revenue told the Irish Independent it had already recovered €6.4m in taxes and penalties from the first batch of 2,600 pensioner.

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And it insisted that it could still reach its €45m tax target, as it continued to work its way through the list of liable pensioner.

Many concerned pensioner have been contacting their local TDs to ask them about the Revenue tax demands.

It is understood that in many cases the repayments are around €1,000 and that Revenue is allowing people to pay back the money over a number of years.

The campaign kicked off as a result of the first comprehensive exchange of pensions information between the Revenue and the Department of Social Protection.

The Revenue realised from looking at the information that many pensioners with a personal pension had not declared their state pension for tax purposes.

But of the 115,000 pensioner contacted by the Revenue last year, it emerged that around 20,000 had paid too much tax. The Revenue has confirmed that they were given refunds worth €1.1m -- an average repayment of around €55 each.

The Revenue has not yet revealed if its operation will soon move on to pensioner with personal pensions worth under €30,000 as well as social welfare pensions. It said the results of the latest trawl would "inform our approach thereafter".

However, the Revenue is expanding its operation to include not just retired PAYE workers but also retired self-employed business people who have not declared their state pensions.

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