New Revenue climbdown on property tax
THE Revenue has performed a second climbdown on the property tax in two days.
Ahead of the appearance of Revenue officials before an Oireachtas committee, the deadline for the paper filing of a householder's property tax payment method was extended by a week.
The previous day, it emerged that homeowners who pay their tax by cheque will be allowed to settle up by the new year, rather than paying before Christmas.
But Fianna Fail has claimed a simple change in legislation would ensure no one would have to pay the 2014 tax before the end of 2013, regardless of which payment method they choose.
Revenue announced its latest U-turn yesterday morning, 24 hours before the deadline.
Tax officials said the move was prompted by the volume of queries regarding the payment from people who filed their 2013 return on paper.
Opening hours of the property tax helpline were also extended to deal with queries from members of the public.
The deadline for responding to the Revenue letter online is still November 27.
Revenue had told homeowners to pay their property tax bill by November 27 if they were making a single payment by credit or debit card or cheque.
However, cheque payment has now been broken into a two-stage process, with homeowners having to say how they will pay this month and making the payment by January 1.
Revenue is understood to be continuing to examine the issue of allowing homeowners paying by card to delay payment until next year.
Labour TD Ciaran Lynch (below), the Oireachtas finance committee chairman, said he welcomed the moves by Revenue over the deadline and the cheques. He said the committee would be focusing on the contentious question of card payments.
"The purpose is to see if solutions can be found. One million people fall into this category of the single payment. It is not an issue of compliance, it is about good customer service," he said.
The Local Property Tax helpline is open from 8am to 8pm on 1890 200 255.