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Galway, Ireland

29 August, 2014 |
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Jan 6: Better off pensioners face increased taxes | Print |  Email
Friday, 06 January 2012


News that Revenue sent out letters to some 115,000 pensioners who appear to have been underpaying their taxes is today's main news story. It appears that for years many elderly people in receipt of private pensions had not been including their State pension in their income declaration and as a result have not been paying the full amount of income tax due.

The situation came to light when the Department of Social Welfare shared information with Revenue. Information about people in receipt of the State pension was compared with information held by Revenue about people who had declared a private pension as income. This revealed 115,000 instances of individuals or couples who had not made a full declaration of income and who will be required to pay more tax from 2012.

The question of collecting arrears of tax is unclear although it has been suggested that only those, about 2,500 people, who have a pension of €50k per year or more will be targeted.  

The letter sent out by Revenue simply lists the income of the addressee and asks for a reply if the data is incorrect.  Where it is correct the company paying the private pension will be required to deduct the correct amount of tax from payments made in the current year.

Many of those affected are outraged and they seem to have considerable sympathy. They argue that they had good reason to believe that they were tax compliant as the State was fully aware of their total income. Some were under the impression that the State pension is not subject to tax, which of course is the case if the recipient has no other income.

British soldier has lucky escape in Belfast

A British soldier on a visit to Belfast had a lucky escape when a bomb placed under the seat of his car failed to detonate. The soldier was visiting his girlfriend and had failed to lock the vehicle when he left it outside her house in the Ligoniel area of the city. He noticed the device yesterday while he was cleaning the car prior to collecting a child from school.

The bomb was attached to a trip wire which was tied to the seat belt.

An Bord Pleanála approves former Beamish site plan

An Bord Pleanála has approved the planning permission granted by Cork City Council for the development of the former Beamish & Crawford site into an event centre with capacity for 6,000. Work on the project, a joint venture between Heineken Ireland and BAM Contractors, is expected to start this year.

In addition to the event centre, the Brewery Quarter will feature student apartments, an eight-screen cinema, bars, restaurants and exhibition areas. The iconic Counting House building will be retained and developed as a museum exhibiting old brewing equipment.  

It has been suggested that the total cost of the project will be between €150m and €200m.

Cork property developer Owen O'Callaghan, who was awaiting a decision from Cork City Council on his proposal for a 5,000-seat event centre at Albert Quay, announced yesterday that he will not be proceeding with his plan. He does not believe the city can sustain two such large entertainments complexes.

Galway hooker is an attraction in Abu Dhabi

Today's Irish Times carries a photograph of a Galway hooker and currach afloat in the harbour at Abu Dhabi.  The two vessels are there as part of the celebration of the imminent arrival of the competitors in the Volvo Ocean race which finishes in Galway in July. There is now talk of six Arab racing dhows being brought to Galway in July to race against six hookers in Galway Bay.

Internal dispute could prevent Fleadh coming to Derry

A proposal that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann be held north of the border for the first time in 2013 has run into difficulties as a result of a disagreement among local members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Bringing the Fleadh to Derry in 2013 was prompted by the fact that Derry will be the UK City of Culture next year.

Nationalists are, however, divided about the city accepting any title that gives recognition to the fact that it is part of the United Kingdom. It is thought that Comhaltas members in the city are in favour of bringing the Fleadh to Derry while those in Co. Derry would rather leave it a year when it cannot be seen as acknowledging the UK link.

Irish Open to be played at Royal Portrush

About a week ago golf journalists were assuring us that the European PGA was about to announce that the 2012 Irish Open event would be played at the K Club in Co. Kildare. The announcement was not made on the expected day but the pundits continued to assure us that the K club was the chosen venue.

In the last day or two we have been told, with just as much confidence, that the competition will be played on Royal Portrush and all the signs are that the announcement will be made this afternoon.

Today's Papers

The Irish Times leads with a statement from the Central Bank, with "Regulator warns bank chiefs they may be investigated" while the Irish Independent has a warning for pensioners under the headline "€8,800 pay cut shock for 115,000 pensioners". The Irish Examiner leads with the words of a Kerry coroner on rural isolation, with "Drink driving laws ‘increase suicides'.

The Irish News has the headline "Workplace deaths rise by 400% in one year".

The Weather in Galway

It started bright, sunny with hardly a breath of wind but quickly became damp and misty. Temperature 12C.




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