Dáil Éireann - Volume 599 - 24 March, 2005

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

  94. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Finance the reason for the 11 week delay in dealing with claims for tax relief on medical expenses; if an embargo is in operation on recruitment to this section of the Revenue Commissioners; if interest will accrue to claimants due to these delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9918/05]

  Mr. Cowen: I have been informed by the Revenue Commissioners that there is no general 11 week delay in dealing with claims for tax relief for medical expenses, or any other form of tax relief.

At the start of each tax year, the Revenue Commissioners issue in excess of 2 million certificates of tax credits to customers. In addition, most requests for PAYE balancing statements and claims to repayment tend to be concentrated in the first quarter of the year. This generates a considerable increase in the level of customer [2079] contacts and demand for services can be exceptionally high from January to March. This can result in some delays in dealing with claims made during the period.

Claims for tax relief are processed in customer service areas in customers’ tax districts. There is no embargo on staffing in these areas. However, as mentioned, the extra level of demand for services at this time of year places extra burdens on available resources.

Interest on repayments is payable from six months after a claim becomes a valid claim until the repayment is made. This includes cases where there has been an administrative delay on the part of Revenue in processing a valid claim.