What did we learn? Are we wiser ?

Revenue meeting with ISCP 9th January

Representative of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament met with two officials from the Revenue Commissioners today at 9.15am. There was a full and frank exchange regarding the crass  way in which Revenue had handled this whole matter.

Revenue did not provide us with the level of detail we had hoped to receive in relation to their surety that the people who received letters owed money. Indeed we urge that they must be more forthcoming at the meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on 11th January. It is the right of every older person and their families to be proactively be told what the situation is.

Many of the case studies which have been advised of were raised with Revenue. There was an acceptance that in a large number of cases there will be no monies due, and where some monies are due the amounts are very small and that the abolition of the bin charges exemptions is a factor.  Indeed there has been an admissions that people who are “Exempt” got letters .

In relation to people who were bereaved in 2011 we were told that a letter was sent to anyone who received a payment in 2011 even if that payment had ceased in 2011 and a bereavement grant had been paid.  We feel this display a lack of sensitivity.

We got clarification that of the 562,000 persons in receipt of Department of Social Protection payments in the specified categories, letters were only sent to those who are liable to pay tax under the PAYE system Form 12.

There are some 100,000 persons in receipt of DSP payments who fall into the category of self assessment and who complete Form 11.

Following the meeting with Revenue a report was given to our National Executive who met today to consider the matter. It was agreed that we will continue to monitor and await the outcome of the Oireachtas Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday 11th January 2012.

Mairead Hayes