In excess of 50pc of income tax was collected through the Revenue Commissioner’s Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) last year compared with 40pc in 2003, siliconrepublic.com has learned, with taxes collected online to be close to €8bn in 2004.
According to a Law Reform Commission report published yesterday, during 2003 more than 40pc of all income tax self-assessment returns and 70pc of payments by persons subject to vehicle registration tax were paid through ROS. In total, €6.2bn – representing some 100,000 individual payments – was paid through ROS in 2003.
At the end of October 2004, some 41pc of income tax returns were filed using ROS and, according a communication to the commission by the Revenue Commissioners, the final figure is expected to be in excess of 50pc.
The Vehicle Registration Tax Enquiry facility introduced in October 2004 is understood to have received more than 41,000 online enquiries, the commission’s report revealed.
According to the report, the Revenue Commissioners are currently developing a computer system capable of assisting the 1.4 million individuals who pay tax under the pay as you earn system that is expected to be operational by autumn this year.
The commission was referring to plans revealed in the Revenue Commissioners’s 2003 annual report, which alluded to a project to redesign the PAYE system and bring PAYE into the overall integrated taxation framework. Work on this project is understood to have begun during 2003 and is on course to be completed by October 2005.
The aim of the new system is to reduce the number of contacts PAYE workers would have to make with the Revenue Commissioners by providing more tax services electronically by providing “quality information” in order to resolve a worker’s queries on first contact.
By John Kennedy