Tuesday 12 December 2017

Extra staff deployed to clear up confusion over property tax payment deadline

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

Extra staff will be deployed to the property tax helpline today in a bid to clarify confusion over the deadline for payment.

But there will be no U-turn on the decision to force people to pay the property tax for next year before Christmas if they are using credit or debit cards.

The confusion about when and how to pay the tax for next year has resulted in 5,000 people calling the property tax helpline per day.

This led to Government backbenchers criticising the Revenue for sending out letters which were not easy for people to understand.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan held a meeting with Revenue Commissioners chairman Josephine Feehily tonight to urgently address the confusion.

Ms Feehily said that Revenue will be placing newspaper adverts and ensuring that Revenue officials appear on radio and TV to clarify the message on payment of the controversial tax.

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan
Josephine Feehily, the Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners

Extra staff will be also deployed to the helpline from tomorrow after criticism that callers were waiting long periods before getting any answer.

Confusion erupted last week after almost one million householders were sent letters about paying the full year of property tax for 2014 by different methods such as direct debit, cheque or salary deductions.

Some home owners felt they had to pay immediately, even though there are options available to defer payment until March next year.

But despite the Revenue pledge to improve its communications, there will be no change to the deadlines already outlined.

Homeowners will still have to declare their payment method within the next two days by post (by November 7) or by November 27 online at the latest.

But while there will be no change to the deadline, Mr Noonan said that he was confident any outstanding issues would be clarified.

“The Revenue gave so many choices to people that people found it difficult to cope with the different choices. But if there is any further clarification necessary, I'm sure Ms Feehily will organise that during the week,” he said.

The property tax helpline is 1890 200 255

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