Abtran gets €16m to operate tax helpline
Outsourcing firm Abtran, which operates the helpline for the State's Local Property Tax (LPT), received fees from the Revenue Commissioners of €1.94m last year.
New figures from Revenue show that since March 2013, the Cork firm has received fees totalling €16.3m for the operation of the LPT.
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The €1.94m paid last year was the same amount as in 2017. Abtran started with just six people in 1997 and is now a leading provider of customer and business process management services, employing over 2,000 in Cork and Dublin.
The Revenue figures show that in the last quarter of 2018, Revenue paid €554,731 to Abtran and €333,303 in the third quarter. Last year, Revenue took €482m in LPT on behalf of the State - a compliance rate of 97pc, in line with other years.
The decision to outsource the LPT work has been criticised by the Fórsa union. However, Revenue said dealing with the volume of calls relating to LPT and the timing of peaks and troughs in demand, "is beyond Revenue's internal capacity".
Revenue said the service "greatly assists in the provision of a flexible, responsive and scalable solution". It said that "despite the exceptional temporary pressures and demands for LPT telephone service, the results have been very positive and Revenue is satisfied that the engagement of an external provider is appropriate for this purpose".