The Revenue Commissioners have extended the deadline for filing Local Property Tax returns to 8pm tomorrow. The move follows a late surge in applications being made through the revenue.ie website.
Due to the “unprecedented volume of calls” to the helpline today and an online filing rate of approximately 10,000 returns per hour, the Revenue Commissioners announced their decision this evening to extend the online filing deadline.
The Revenue Commissioners said they are “very happy” with the level of engagement which they said is “a testament to the strong voluntary compliance culture of the people of Ireland”.
Some 1.45 million people had filed returns for the controversial property tax ahead of tonight’s decision. A spokeswoman said the Revenue Commissioners had received some 30,000 calls today and some 8,000 individuals requesting to file over the phone.
Anybody who owns a property in the State must now file a return by 8pm tomorrow night, indicating how they intend to pay by July 1st.
A total of 1.66 million notifications were sent to property owners around the State, meaning over 250,000 people are yet to file returns.
The Revenue said 1.265 million returns had been submitted by close of business yesterday, suggesting a late rush with over 130,000 filing returns last night and this morning.
Property owners face mandatory deductions of the tax from their salaries or pensions if they do not make returns on time.
The Revenue helpline – 1890 200 255 – will be open until midnight and the revenue.ie website is open for online registrations.
The tax has been opposed by mainly left-wing campaigners, who argue that it is an unfair imposition on ordinary people.
A spokeswoman for the campaign against the tax, Ruth Coppinger, challenged a Revenue official's assertion yesterday that payment was "inevitable" in light of the provisions for mandatory deduction that are built into the system.
“People can and will choose to take part in a boycott as a way of exerting political pressure on the Government,” Ms Coppinger said.
“Hundreds of thousands are likely to take part in an organised boycott of this unjust bondholder tax. Many have simply decided they have no more to give.”
While most property owners have registered, it remains unclear whether the €250 million required from the tax this year will be collected. Equally unclear is whether most property owners have complied with the requirement for an honest self-assessment of the valuation on their property, which will be crucial to determining the success of the initiative.
Under close scrutiny in coming days will be the extent to which the eventual shortfall from the 1.66 million notifications can be attributed to evasion or to flaws within Revenue’s database on property and its owners.