Sunday 18 February 2018

Re-think on taxation of self-employed is welcome

The Government's U-turn on measures aimed at forcing 600,000 people who file their own tax returns to estimate their income and pay their taxes months in advance of actually earning it has to be welcomed. This, like the Local Property Tax (LPT) circular demanding payment of 2014 LPT by debit, cheque and credit card holders before the end of November 2013, was a badly thought out strategy that sought to penalise two hard-working and generally compliant taxpayer groups.

In both cases, this raises questions about the standard of 'customer care' adopted by the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners.

Government departments in general seem very wary of tangling with special interest groups, because they know the kind of pressure that these groups can apply at political level, locally and nationally. But the same regard does not appear to be paid to ordinary taxpayers who are, after all, the backbone of the public finances.

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