State swoops on 1,700 OAPs for more tax
THE REVENUE Commissioners is to swoop on up to 1,700 pensioners who may be liable for additional tax charges.
The Herald has learned the State body is preparing to trawl thousands of euro in backdated taxes from the group of OAPs.
The body wrote to a group of 1,200 retired individuals this week notifying them that they may be liable for extra charges.
Some 500 more are set to be contacted in the coming weeks.
Sources say some of these pensioners are suspected of "deliberately" evading tax.
A raft of letters was sent out this week to up to 1,700 homes with pensioners being told that "tax is now due on the pension income".
The letter reads: "You are required to fully complete declaring all your sources of income. Upon receipt of these returns, we will set out your final liability which you should pay within 30 days or otherwise there may be penalties."
Tax officials are understood to be preparing to look for taxes going back years and even decades.
Those targeted are in a bracket which the Revenue feels may owe significant sums to the State.
Sources say a single person could be requested to pay €4,400 per year while a couple could be liable for €8,800.
A deadline of July 16 for the return form to be filed has been set, according to the letters.
One 70-year-old pensioner, who asked not to be named, expressed outrage with the Revenue Commissioners.
"I got this letter saying I could face penalties and charges and I don't believe it's justified. I've always paid my dues and now I have the taxman on to me.
"It's a disgrace and it's only the start. Why is it that the elderly are always targeted?"
The news comes just months after the Revenue Commissioners told up to 115,000 pensioners they may face a higher tax bill than expected.
The move was a PR disaster for the State body, which eventually admitted sending the letters was a mistake.
But the Revenue did vow to pursue up to 2,500 retired people with large private pensions who may have underpaid tax due on their State benefits.
Those affected have annual incomes of over €50,000, the body told the Herald.