Revenue targets household charge

There is a discrepancy of some 463,000 people between those that have paid the local property tax and the household charge, according to the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily.

Revenue is warning that it will be coming after people who haven’t paid their charges in April, with threatening letters arriving in the second half of April.

Ms Feehily was speaking at the Parliamentary Accounts Committee where she explained that different systems being used to collect the two separate taxes had resulted in the discrepancy.

“The household charge had its own rules and its own metrics for measuring compliance rate. From our point of view we got the database from them. We have seen about 1.2m properties that have paid the household charge whereas local property tax is 1.62m.

“We can see a gap of 463,000 properties that have complied with local property tax for 2013 and have not complied with the household charge. These two systems were so distinctly different that merging them has not been easy,” she said.

One of the key stumbling blocks to figuring out who has and who has not paid has been the manner in which the household charge registered the owners.

“The principle difference that explains most of it, because it was an online charge, was that family members paid the household charge for a parent. that was quite common. In that case the system linked the property to the payer not the owner,” said Ms Feehily.

Ms Feehily made it clear that the clock is ticking for anybody who has not paid their household charge or may have undervalued their home.

Ms Feehily said that Revenue had already began mandatory deduction at source, where money is taken directly from people’s pay cheques in 29,000 cases.

Revenue enforcement has already been active in challenging some people on the valuation of their houses. Due to the higher than 90% compliance rate with the local property tax Revenue has been able to establish norms for areas.

“Our message is that people can self correct now online. We have already challenged a handful, we have got money. We will begin to challenge on all those headings.”


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