Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Public Accounts Committee

2018 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 9 - Office of the Revenue Commissioners
Chapter 17 - Tax compliance interventions
Chapter 18 - Tax relief on film production

9:00 am

Mr. Niall Cody:

The household charge was the €100, and when property tax was introduced in May 2013, the household charge came across as an LPT charge. We took responsibility for collecting uncollected household charges for the two years that the household charge was in place and, to date, we have collected just over €71 million in household charge arrears. We picked it up sometimes when houses were sold and sometimes when we tidied up the register, given there was no household register. There is a small percentage of houses to be sorted in the register and there were also all sorts of exemptions for unfinished estates. When LPT came in, the unfinished estates were a smaller footprint. People decided they had the household charge exemption because they had not been liable to LPT but they did not have that exemption. Therefore, every year, we collect a small element of arrears. If we are collecting arrears of LPT, what tends to happen is that we are collecting it from the start.

The other piece is that there are a whole range of deferrals, and there are people who have opted for the deferral, and they then decide they are in a better position - perhaps they have a new job - and they pay the arrears of the deferral. When we took on the job of LPT, we anticipated that we would have got €60 million in the household charge to bring it up to date, but we have actually got €71 million. There was a provision, in whatever year it was, in which we said that if the household charge was not paid by the date, it doubled. We took a lot of innovative approaches to ensure people paid their LPT.