Politicians made over 190 representations to Revenue in 2016

Labour Party’s Michael Dollard raised the most cases for the third year in a row

Politicians made 196 representations to the Revenue Commissioners in 2016. File photograph: Joe St Leger

Politicians made 196 representations to the Revenue Commissioners in 2016. File photograph: Joe St Leger

 

Politicians made 196 representations to the Revenue Commissioners in 2016, in addition to 51 cases where Minister for Finance Michael Noonan referred correspondence from individuals to the body for direct reply.

Cllr Michael Dollard, a member of the Labour Party, topped the list for representations to Revenue, with 18 last year.

The Westmeath county councillor raised the most cases for the third year in the row.

Niall Collins, Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick County, made the next highest number of representations with 17, followed jointly by Jim Daly, Fine Gael TD for West Cork, and Darragh O’Brien, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal, who each raised 10 cases.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny made seven representations to Revenue last year.

Mr Dollard made 14 representations to Revenue in 2015 and 28 in 2014.

He described his contacts with Revenue as “part and parcel of being a public rep”.

He said that in the first four months of this year he had probably already exceeded the number of representations he made in 2016.

“People don’t understand their rights and entitlements. A lot of interaction with the Revenue is online and that only creates problems for people,” he said.

Mr Collins said he would “regularly make representations to public bodies of all shapes and descriptions, including the Revenue”.

He described the representations as “routine stuff” that would come from “right across the spectrum”, from workers to business-owners.

“A lot of them would be information-gathering stuff, people who might have had difficulty communicating with their own Revenue branch,” he said.

Pyrite damage

Mr O’Brien said that most of his representations in 2016 related to cases where people did not receive a tax exemption for homes that had a significant level of pyrite damage.

“From time to time I do make representations on behalf of individuals, or if it is a small business, to try to move things along for people. I make no bones about it,” he said.

“If I think the Revenue or Collector General may not be taking into account a full issue in a case, I will write to them.”