Labour accept no change to early payment requirement for 2014 property tax

Revenue Commissioners has not changed its position that those who pay property tax by card must do so by November 27th

The Labour Party has all but conceded it has failed to get the Revenue Commissioners to change its requirement that households paying the 2014 property tax by credit card or debit card must do so later this month.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore intervened at the weekend, saying it was unfair to ask households to pay a 2014 tax in 2013. He urged Revenue to revisit its decisions of imposing a November 27th deadline for card payments.

However, Fine Gael did not support the Labour stance on this issue with Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisting on Saturday night that Revenue was entitled to collect the property tax in the manner in which it saw fit. Fine Gael Ministers accepted the letters sent to some 960,000 households may have given rise to confusion but would go no further than to say that additional clarification was necessary.

Cabinet meeting
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan met the chairwoman of the Revenue Commissioners Josephine Feehily on Monday night and briefed his ministerial colleagues on the discussion at yesterday's weekly meeting of Cabinet.


Ministers were informed that as of yesterday some 50,000 households had filed returns for the tax.

A spokesman for the Tánaiste said he welcomed that further clarification had been given on payments by cheque, which ensured that those paying by this method could do so up to January 1st.

However, he said a “somewhat worrying situation” remained where people who paid by credit or debit card were required to make the payment in November.

In an acceptance that Labour could do little to change that, the spokesman said: “Ultimately the arrangements are for the Revenue Commissioners who are independent in their work.”

It was signalled, nonetheless, that the junior Coalition partner was not going to pursue the matter this week.

Ms Feehily will appear before the finance committee of the Oireachtas tomorrow and will set out Revenue's approach to the tax and its rationale for asking for November payments. Mr Gilmore, his spokesman said, would await the outcome of that meeting and might return to the issue.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin urged the Taoiseach to accept an amendment to the Finance Bill that would allow the tax to be paid in 2014.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams alleged unfairness on the part of the Government.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times