Revenue letters on property tax causing ‘distress and upset’

Deputy Michael Lowry has criticised the Revenue Commissioners for causing distress, upset and uncertainty in thousands of households due to the sending of what he described as convoluted and confusing letters, littered with numbers and dates.

Deputy Michael Lowry has criticised the Revenue Commissioners for causing distress, upset and uncertainty in thousands of households due to the sending of what he described as convoluted and confusing letters, littered with numbers and dates.

The Independent T.D. for Tipperary stated that his office has been inundated with calls from homeowners in recent days who simply do not understand what is required of them in these letters, are living in fear of failing to comply and being hit with the wrath of the Revenue Commissioners.

Deputy Lowry stated; “In the past week over 960,000 householders will have received letters from the Revenue Commissioners with regards to the payment of the Local Property Tax for 2014. The letters and forms in question are not clearly laid out, are complex, mystifying and clearly lacking in plain English”

“These letters have caused serious confusion and upset across Tipperary. This coupled with the ridiculous wait times to get through to the Revenue Commissioners helpline is adding to the bewilderment and puzzlement of the general public.

I have received countless calls from constituents in recent days who simply do not know what information Revenue are looking for, when it must be returned to Revenue or when payment will actually be taken from their accounts.”

“The key message for the public is that Revenue are seeking clarification on how all homeowners intend to pay the local property tax for next year. If you are notifying Revenue by post this must be done by November 7, alternatively those filling out their tax returns online have until November 27 to do so. People should also be aware that depending on what payment option they select they may have their local property charge taken prior to Christmas. For example those who pay this tax by cheque, credit or debit card will see it deducted in the coming weeks.”

“Christmas is a hugely difficulty and financially stressful time for countless families. Already families are making preparations and saving every penny in a bid to cover the large costs associated with the festive season. I believe that it is grossly unfair that Revenue are adding to this burden and many people will see hundreds of euro taken from their accounts or added to their credit card bill in the coming weeks.”

“I am calling on the government to immediately intervene and to ensure that all payments, irrespective of method, are taken on the same date in 2014, with due notice given to all homeowners. It is simply unfair to ask strained households to pay a substantial tax now when it is not actually owed until 2015.”