TDs to quiz revenue chiefs over property tax controversy
Revenue chiefs face a grilling from cross-party politicians over a controversial move to force some homeowners to cough up their property tax early.
As tensions between the coalition intensify with the Taoiseach refusing to back the Tanaiste's calls for a review of the decision, Revenue Commission boss Josephine Feehily will be asked to explain the payment system for 2014.
Finance Committee chairman Ciaran Lynch confirmed he will invite Ms Feehily to appear before the joint Oireachtas group to discuss the structure, timing and operation of the scheme.
"The purpose of the meeting is to deal with any ambiguities or concerns in regard to the payment of the local property tax, and in some circumstances to establish how the issue of premature payments is dealt with, and also to discuss how the payment of the local property tax is made when it is actually due," Mr Lynch said.
"The concerns that I have heard expressed by the public over the last couple of weeks are not an issue of compliancy, but an issue of a requirement for good customer services, in which people who wish to pay the tax want to make the payment when the payment falls due."
Revenue has told almost a million homeowners they must pay their property tax bill for 2014 by the end of November if they plan to use debit, credit card or cheque.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore urged Revenue to reconsider the deadline, insisting a 2014 tax should not be paid until 2014.
But Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to support his deputy's calls, saying Revenue Commissioners work independently and have the right to implement the tax as they see fit.
"The Government decide what policy is, the Revenue Commissioners implement and enforce that policy," Mr Kenny said as he arrived at the Fine Gael presidential dinner in Dublin on Saturday.
The property tax was only applied for six months this year, so 2014 will be the first year the tax will be levied for a full 12 months