Dáil Questions: Finance

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To ask the Minister for Finance if he has satisfied himself with the way Revenue Commissioners have applied tax relief at source to mortgages; if he has further satisfied himself that it has been correctly applied in all cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Clare Daly T.D.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 4 April, 2017.

* To ask the Minister for Finance if he has satisfied himself that the Revenue Commissioners have taken all necessary steps to advise all qualifying mortgage holders of their entitlement to tax relief at source; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Clare Daly T.D.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 4 April, 2017.
REPLY.
Revenue administers mortgage interest relief in accordance with Section 244 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. The level of relief applied to each case is based on the applicable ceiling, the rate of relief allowable and the percentage of the loan that qualifies for the relief. I am satisfied that Revenue are administering the relief as intended.

I acknowledge that the various rules and thresholds that apply can be difficult for borrowers to understand and indeed for Revenue to administer and it is possible that errors can occur from time to time. I am also aware that Revenue has recently written to the Deputy setting out the different rates of relief for both first time and non-first time buyers and has apologised for any incorrect information that may have been previously provided.

To assist borrowers in claiming their correct entitlements, Revenue operates a very intuitive and easy to use online application process via its website at https://www.ros.ie/trs/claim.html?execution=e2s1  and uses a sophisticated electronic file transfer system to pass the relevant information to the lending institutions. The lenders in turn confirm to Revenue the amount of qualifying interest paid by each borrower and the amount of relief granted.

Revenue also conducts regular compliance checks and desk reviews on the lending institutions to ensure all aspects of the scheme are being carried out correctly, thereby ensuring that borrowers are getting their correct entitlement on a timely basis.

Additionally, Revenue operates a Tax Relief at Source (TRS) Helpline at 1890 463626 to assist borrowers with any queries they may have. The Helpline operates Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 5pm. Revenue has also published very extensive information in respect of all aspects of the relief on its website at http://www.revenue.ie/en/online/mortgage-interest-relief.html. This information is constantly updated to reflect any changes to the scheme.

Finally, if the Deputy is aware of a particular case where the relief has not been correctly applied or where the borrower is not certain that the proper entitlement has been received, he/she should be advised to contact Revenue at telephone number 061 488202 and the situation will be examined. Alternatively the Deputy can provide the details to my officials who will ensure they are immediately passed on to the appropriate Revenue personnel.