Implementation by Revenue Commissioners and Department of Social Community and Family Affairs of Income Tax and Social Welfare measures
Certificates of Tax Credits and Standard Rate Cut off Point
During the month of November, the Revenue Commissioners issued interim Tax Credit Certificates (TCCs) to all PAYE taxpayers and Tax Deduction Cards (TDCs) to employers for the 2002 tax year, together with explanatory material. These certificates will apply, on an interim basis, from 1 January 2002. They contain, in euro amounts, income tax personal and PAYE credits, standard rate bands etc. based on the provisions available for the short tax year 2001 but annualised for the year 2002. Credits relating to mortgage interest relief and health insurance relief have been removed, as these reliefs will be granted at source in 2002.
Between late February and mid-March next year, new TCCs and TDCs will be issued. These will take account of any Budget day changes and take effect from 1 January 2002. Where overpayments or underpayments of tax arise, or other adjustments are required, these will be made by employers for their employees through the PAYE system shortly after the issue of the post-Budget TCCs and TDCs.
Revenue have a Lo-Call helpline to deal with queries from PAYE taxpayers arising from these arrangements. The number is (1890) 60 50 90.
Mortgage Interest Relief
Earlier this year, the Revenue Commissioners notified all individual taxpayers, who currently claim mortgage interest relief, how the move to relief at source will work and encouraged them to contact Revenue if the details which are being certified to the mortgage lender needed to be adjusted or where Revenue did not have the loan account number on their computer files. Revenue issued Final Reminders to the taxpayers concerned on this matter during the month of November, supported by advertising in the media. Revenue have published a leaflet giving full details of tax relief at source for mortgage interest (available from any Tax Office or on the Revenue website: www.revenue.ie). They have also provided a Lo-Call helpline for telephone queries relating to relief at source. The number is (1890) 46 36 26.
Taxpayers with mortgages from Local Authorities should receive details concerning the arrangements relating to tax relief at source directly from the relevant Local Authority. This information will be communicated to the borrowers during the first two weeks of December.
The Government has decided that weekly social welfare rate increases will be effective from the beginning of January 2002 and that Child Benefit increases will be effective from April 2002.
The arrangements for payment of the increases will be as follows:
271,000 recipients of short-term weekly payments, such as unemployment and disability benefit and supplementary welfare allowance customers, will receive their increase from the first pay-day in January. 2,750 customers on these payments will receive the bulk of their increase from the first pay-day, with a small balancing payment in February.
Due to the lead times involved in the production of payment books for certain long-term schemes, it will not be possible for Budget increases to be paid in January (other than for Family Income Supplement customers).
210,000 customers on weekly payments (mainly Widows, One Parent Families and Invalidity Pensioners) will receive a backdated lump sum payment for 6 weeks of the increase amount in mid-February and the increase will thereafter be included in new payment books issuing at that time.
A further 393,000 customers on weekly payments (mainly Old Age Pensioners and Disability Allowance customers) who are due to get new books in April will receive a special payment in mid-February backdated for 6 weeks and paid in advance for a further 7 weeks to bring them up to the date when their new books will arrive.
520,000 Child Benefit customers will receive the increase in a special payment in May, backdated to the start of April, and the increase will thereafter be included in new payment books issuing in June 2002.
A Social Welfare Budget 2002 freephone number is available from 6 December 2001 at 1800 690 590. The Social Welfare Budget 2002 Factsheet will also include an addendum on the delivery of increases.
The Department will implement a series of public awareness measures including TV, national and local radio, and newspaper advertising to inform customers of how the increases are being paid.
The PRSI year, like the income tax year, will be the calendar year from 1 January 2002. The increase in the Employee PRSI ceiling, which underpins the Estimates, will apply from that date.
The reduction in the Employer PRSI higher contribution rate will apply from 1 March 2002. The Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs will notify employers in the normal way.