Taxman Raids 30,000 Pay Packets; Revenue to Target More Homeowners Who Won't File Their Property Taxes
Byline: Niamh Lyons Political Correspondent
REVENUE has already taken the property tax directly out of the pay packets of almost 30,000 householders - after prioritising the already highlytaxed PAYE sector.
However, that is just the beginning: 120,000 more homeowners who haven't paid can expect to face a lean on their earnings from the taxman.
The figure emerged yesterday as the St Vincent de Paul warned that a high number of those who have had their pay docked are in the 'coping class'.
Charity spokesman Jim Walsh said: 'We certainly have seen a change in profile of people coming to us for help.
'Many of them are the working poor. They have taken the brunt of the Budget cuts and they have very little left at the end of each month.' After targeting PAYE, Josephine Revenue will then begin deducting payments from occupational pensions, selfassessed workers and people on social welfare.
In the move to collect the tax, which is expected to raise [euro]500million a year from 1.6million homeowners, the authorities have already divided those who have responded to Revenue and those who have not into various groups, according to the risk of non-payment.
The Revenue has indicated that the next group of non-compliant houseowners to be targeted will be people who draw their main earnings from an occupational pension.
The St Vincent de Paul said it is a sign of the growth in the numbers of 'working poor' that so many people are having their salary docked.
Mr Walsh said: 'We certainly have seen a change in profile of people coming to us for help. Many of them are the working poor.
'They have taken the brunt of the Budget cuts and they have very little left at the end of each month.
'Obviously we would never advise anyone not to pay the charge, but it is an indication that some workers simply cannot budget for the payment.
'Before it was coming out of their wage they were obviously prioritising other things.
'Now they see it is being deducted from their pay I imagine people are making difficult decisions in other areas such as bringing a child to the GP, buying Christmas presents, putting petrol in their car or doing repairs around the house'.
The latest Revenue move comes after they were for the first time given extra powers to take the controversial levy from the pay-packets of noncompliant homeowners. The latest data from Josephine Feehilhy and the Revenue reveals there were 29,500 'mandatory deductions' in total this year. PAYE workers are the first to be targeted but thousands of people will face similar action.Over 4,000 PAYE taxpayers whose salary was deducted later decided to comply.
The figure for mandatory deductions has now dropped to around 25,000 people, representing 25,700 properties, who have seen their salary reduced.
Across the country there is 91 per cent compliance with the charge.
This means that of the estimated 1.6million homeowners in the country, there are a total of 150,000 people who will see the payment taken by enforced collection. Some people opted to have the property tax deducted voluntarily from their wages.
Those who did not respond to the initial letter from Revenue in May which outlined their estimated liability are now being targeted.
PAYE workers are the first to be hit with an enforced collection.
Since September they have seen a percentage deducted directly from their wages. The fee corresponds to the estimated valuation.
Revenue also has the power to deduct payments from occupational pensions, self-assessed workers and social welfare recipients.
It is understood they have now segmented the non-engagers and non-responders, into various risk tiers and categories. The next group to be targeted will be those who draw their main earnings from an occupational pension.
A number of TDs who refused to pay the tax are now having their [euro]87,000 Dail salary docked. …