Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Derry man gets demand for €157 in property tax from the Republic of Ireland

A Londonderry man says he's “confused and amused” as to why he's received a demand for €157 (£134) in property tax from the Revenue Commissioners in the Republic for his home in Northern Ireland.

Jim O'Hagan received the demand for the payment of the Household Charge from the Republic’s Collector-General for his home at Pinetrees in the Buncrana Road area of Derry.

The Derry resident says he’s mystified as to why he has received the demand and has never had any contact with the Republic’s taxation authorities before.

Mr O’Hagan owns no property in the Republic and says he’s never had any property dealings there.

The security officer said: “I know I live only one mile from the border with Co Donegal, but I do live in Northern Ireland.

“The letter was addressed to my home. It contained my post code of BT48 8PL, which is correct, but it also contained at the end of the address Laois, which is clearly wrong, but still it arrived here.

“Ironically it arrived the same week as my local rates bill,” Mr O’Hagan said.

“The demand for €157 is in relation to a property which has a Revenue Commissioners identity number of 2660508RH, but what that's got to do with me I just don't know.

“The letter is entitled ‘Return For Local Property Tax' and says my payment must be made by May 2013.

“It asks for details of my salary, wages or occupational pension and for any payments made to me by the departments of Social Protection Payments and Agriculture, Food and the Marine,” he said.

“The demand to me actually states, ‘because there is currently no property register that is 100% accurate, there will be errors in the Revenue's records at the start and some people will receive a letter in error'. Well that's certainly happened to me.

“The letter adds: ‘If we have written to you in error, we apologise'.

“I'd love to know how they got this so wrong,” Mr O’Hagan added.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Revenue Commissioners said: “To allow us to contact residential property owners, we've compiled a register of residential properties.

“”To do this we used the Geo Directory to identify properties and connected each property to a liable person using Revenue data and data from a range of other sources.

“Data from the various sources has been cross-checked to ensure that the register is as accurate as possible.”

But she admitted mistakes would be made as the charge was a new tax.

“This could occur, for example, where a son or daughter paid the Household Charge on behalf of a parent and the Household Charge system connected the property to the payer rather than the owner.”

There was still no explanation of how a charge in the Republic could be applied to a home in Northern Ireland.

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