For many years in Ireland, pensioners if they went over a certain threshold technically had to pay income tax (PAYE). It was never enforced because conveniently for the politicians how didn’t want to lose this large voter base, the Dept of Finance and the Dept of Social Welfare didn’t share information. This meant in the case of someone having the State pension and an occupational pension they would have ver often been over the income tax threshold but the Dept of Finance wasn’t aware of the State pension being claimed.

Now that has all changed. The IMF are due back in town next month and the Irish government desperate for new sources of income and trying to look tough, has now turned on its pensioners and the two departments are now communicating. In a PR disaster, the Revenue has sent out letters demanding sometimes up to €4000 per single pensioner and €8000 per married pensioners, but has also a times sent out two letters which have contradicted each other. Incidentally they have steadfastly refused to apologise for the distress or confusion despite being asked on radio shows and in interviews.

Oh, it get even better. In an Irish solution to an Irish problem, for the pensioners who haven’t passed the income threshold, they will have to pay tax anyway, but will get it back at a later date.

As reported in the Independent

The Revenue has confirmed that 15,000 people received letters telling them they could have tax deducted although their income didn’t reach the payment threshold.