Revenue collects €1.5m in property tax each day
THE Revenue Commissioner has collected almost €1.5m a day in household charges after it threatened to haul homeowners before the courts for not paying up before the end of the month.
The surge in payments follows Revenue's warning that it would impose tough penalties and interest and pursue enforcement action on property owners refusing to pay by the March 31 deadline.
Property owners continuing to defy the demand from the taxman may even receive a call from the sheriff, and tax clearance certificates could also be refused.
There are a still around 260,000 homeowners facing sanctions or possible prosecution if they do not meet the looming cut-off date.
However, newly released figures from Revenue show people have been sending in their Local Property Tax (LPT) returns in droves since the compliance clampdown was announced six weeks ago.
Approximately 60,000 returns have been received since February 18 when Revenue first announced the penalties for those refusing to pay.
Revenue had been taking in €1m a day in the past week but this surged to €1.5m as the clock ticks down.
It received over 1,700 debit and credit card payments on Tuesday alone, which is the busiest day for card payments since last November.
Revenue is processing in excess of 337,000 direct debits every month and has received approximately €3.8m in arrears of the 2012 household charge.
In total, around 1.65 million or 85pc of property owners have paid or made arrangements to pay for 2014 but this still leaves 260,000 properties yet to file returns.
There are about 100,000 properties which are not fully compliant for last year but 93pc of homeowners did pay up.
A spokeswoman said: "Last year was a half-year tax and we were busy getting the property tax register up to date and constantly refining it.
"We have had a compliance campaign in place and there has been a deduction at source from people's pay and pensions."
The spokeswoman said around 12,000 mandatory deductions have been taken from people's pensions and pay packets, and there has been more than 3,000 tax clearance refusals for homeowners refusing to cough up.
Revenue also intends to punish people who have undervalued their properties or claimed exemptions from the tax they are not entitled to.
In two weeks' time, Revenue will begin adding further penalties and interest to the tax owed by those refusing to pay the charge.
Enforcement action could ultimately follow and property owners face a visit from the sheriff or further legal action.