Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Finance
110. To ask the Minister for Finance if a local property tax return can be made through the post using a hard copy form; if his attention has been drawn to difficulties faced by taxpayers who are not online in obtaining hard copy forms for local property tax; if a form can be sent to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49172/21]
I am advised by Revenue that over 1.4 million notices have issued to property owners in recent weeks, setting out what is required to meet Local Property Tax (LPT) obligations for the new ‘valuation period’ (2022 to 2025). This includes approximately 200,000 paper LPT Returns to property owners who have not previously availed of the online options.
Property owners who have not received a hard-copy LPT Return and are not able to file online should not be concerned and should contact the LPT Helpline on (01) 7383626 for assistance. Revenue’s call centre agents will help with the Return filing process and will set up the property owner’s preferred payment method. In advance of calling the Helpline, property owners will need to have determined the market value of their property so that the Return can be completed. They should also have their Property ID and PIN to hand, which can be found on any LPT correspondence previously received from Revenue.
When determining the market value of a property for the new ‘valuation period’, it is not necessary for property owners to use online sources for guidance if it is difficult for them to do so. Non-online sources such as the property pages in newspapers (local and/or national) or checking the information displayed in local auctioneer offices are alternative sources that can provide useful guidance to assist in determining the correct ‘valuation band’ to be applied.
Regarding the specific property referenced by the Deputy, Revenue has confirmed that it will make direct contact with the person in question and provide any assistance required.
111. To ask the Minister for Finance when local tax offices will be open to the public to facilitate taxpayers getting advice and assistance regarding their wish to make income tax returns in hard copy format; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49173/21]
Revenue has confirmed that the timelines around reopening offices and facilitating public access is kept under continuous review and will be considered further in line with the dates announced by Government for the easing of restrictions. In considering the most appropriate time to reopen offices, Revenue will continue to focus on customer and staff safety as its highest priority and, as was the case for most of its public offices before the pandemic, will re-open on an appointment only basis where all such meetings will fully observe the necessary social distancing protocols.
Throughout the pandemic, Revenue has continued to provide a full range of online services for taxpayers to manage their tax affairs, which for the most part remove any requirement to access public offices. These services, which include an online communications channel through the MyEnquiriessystem, are available 24/7, are easy to use and are fully secure.
For taxpayers who, for a variety of reasons, may not have access to the online services, Revenue is providing extensive support across its various telephone helplines and is operating a full service for queries being received through the postal system. Further details regarding the different telephone helplines is available on the Revenue website under "contact details", which may be of assistance to the Deputy. For the more complex matters that require one to one engagement, taxpayers can avail of virtual appointments with the relevant Revenue official through video-conferencing facilities.
Regarding income tax return filing, Revenue has advised me that mandatory electronic filing (e-filing) continues to be a requirement for most self-assessed taxpayers. The only exception is where a taxpayer is not e-enabled due to issues such as insufficient internet access, age related difficulties or physical/mental disability. Further information on mandatory e-filing, including the type of exclusions available is set out on the Revenue website (via "starting and running a business").
Finally, if the Deputy is aware of a specific taxpayer that requires assistance, he should provide the details through the Oireachtas Helpline and Revenue will make direct contact.