| 15.8°C Dublin

Revenue nets €100m as 80pc sign up to pay for property tax

MORE than eight out of every 10 property owners have either paid or registered to pay the property tax.

The head of the Revenue Commissioners Josephine Feehily said she expected more than €100m had been brought into the Exchequer through the tax, with the State on track to meet its target of €250m this year.

Some 2,000 people filed a return every hour yesterday after the deadline was extended until 8pm last night. Some 400,000 people have filed since Friday.

"A colossal proportion of the total have come in in the last few days, which is probably to be expected, given our reaction to deadlines generally," Ms Feehily told the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

"We have a very high compliance rate, which for me is really important. We don't like to be in the enforcement business, we much prefer to be dealing with voluntary compliance."

Updated figures at close of play last night showed 1.54 million properties have now filed a return. Ms Feehily said there were about 100,000 properties that have not yet complied that "we'll have to do some serious looking at".

"These numbers do not include about 160,000 residential properties where the local authorities or a social housing group is liable, and for whom special payment provisions were made in legislation," the Revenue chief said.

"Including these we have voluntary compliance in respect of some 1.68 million properties," she said.

Ms Feehily said those who had not engaged with Revenue would now be sent a reminder letter within the next 10 days and given a "short time window" to file online. The request will then be sent to employers of PAYE workers to begin taking reductions, and will be spread over the rest of the year.

WARNINGS

The self-employed who have not paid by July 1 will not get a tax clearance certificate, Ms Feehily said.

"The question of enforcing a debt for the self-employed, which would tend to be via the bank account route, will come after appropriate warnings and appropriate engagement."

If the self-employed haven't paid the tax by the time of their income tax return, they will be subject to a surcharge on their return.

Ms Feehily said that of those who have paid so far, 46pc had paid by debit or credit card, 15pc by cheque, 27pc by direct debit, 5pc through a voluntary contribution from source and 7pc through other means, such as through the post office.

Irish Independent