As people across the country start to receive letters regarding their Local Property Tax liabilities, Denis Naughten TD has reiterated his call for An Post to provide Government services for those who are unable to access online applications.
“The letters arriving from Revenue this week in relation to LPT assessments state that returns must be done online through the Revenue website or through ROS or myAccount. People who are not digitally literate or who cannot access online services should be able to access this service through their local post office,” stated Denis Naughten.
“The LPT system currently being operated by Revenue will preclude many older people, or those not digitally literate, from making their own return as they are not able to use the online system. These people should have the option to do so through their post office.
“Furthermore, the failure to provide such a mechanism when the property tax was first introduced, even with a paper based form, led to a situation where many older people were paying too much tax because they did not understand the valuation structure and this caused a lot of administration costs for Revenue, and unnecessary anxiety for older people after the original valuation.
“This should not be allowed to happen again and the best way to do this is to ensure that older people, those without broadband or with poor literacy or digital literacy skills have an alternative route to update the LPT details though the local post office.”
Earlier this month Government launched its Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy 10-Year Strategy which highlighted:
- 18% of adults in Ireland had unmet literacy needs
- 25% of adults in Ireland had unmet numeracy needs
- 47% of adults in Ireland were without basic digital skills
“Online does not work for nearly half our adult population and our citizens should not be excluded from using Government services simply because they cannot use technology,” said Denis Naughten.
“It really beggars belief that in a single month Government accepts that a quarter of the adult population have unmet numeracy needs, with half the population without basic digital skills and then we have Revenue asking people to use an online interactive property valuation guide to determine the market value of their property one month from now.”
He added: “It is frustrating that three years ago the Government took the decision to put more State work through the post office network, yet here we are again where the only method of submitting LPT returns is online when it is clear that a large section of our population will be unable to do so.”
Link to Solas Strategy: https://www.solas.ie/alnd-strategy/