Written answers

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Department of Finance

Property Tax Administration

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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69. To ask the Minister for Finance if he is aware of the Bara judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered last month (details supplied); if the information in any of the databases assembled and processed by his Department, or by the Revenue Commissioners, towards the administration of the local property tax scheme was gathered using personal data previously collected and held by the State towards a different purpose; if persons whose personal data was gathered in such manner have been notified of the transfer of their data to the administration of the local property tax scheme; if not, his views that all such databases are now illegal in view of the Bara judgment; the measures he proposes to address this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41124/15]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by Revenue that the administration of Local Property Tax (LPT) is specifically provided for in legislation, the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act, 2012 (as amended) (the Act). 

I am advised by Revenue that it is has considered the Bara judgement with regard to any possible implications for it as a data controller.  The Bara judgement concerned the sharing between two state entities in Romania of data without legislative authority or consent from data subjects.  On that basis the European Court of Justice found that the data sharing in question was illegal without notification to or consent from the data subjects.

Unlike the situation in the Bara case where there was no legislative basis for the transfer of the specific data, Section 151 of the Act explicitly states that Revenue can request 'relevant persons' to provide it with any information in their possession or control that may be required for the administration of LPT, including for the purposes of establishing and maintaining the Property Register. Section 153 also clearly sets out the entities that are considered to be 'relevant persons' for the purposes of LPT.

Revenue has confirmed to me that it is satisfied that all of the information sourced from the various 'relevant persons' was done in accordance with legislation. Therefore the Bara Judgment does not apply.

Revenue also advises that it is in regular contact with the Data Protection Commissioner's office in respect of its obligations generally as a data controller. Revenue does not engage in systematic exchange of data without a specific legislative basis in either tax or other specific legislation.


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