Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has written to Revenue to ask that they examine ways to put in place a functioning phoneline in the immediate future.
Deputy Murnane O’Connor said there were many people, particularly those who were older, who did not have access to the online Revenue portal. She said they were unable to get through to Revenue on their regular phone line.
She said: "At the moment if you phone the regular Revenue number (017383636) there is an automated message which says, in response to restrictions introduced to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, the Revenue Commissioners are not in a position to deal with telephone queries. It then goes on to direct people online.
"I fully accept there are restrictions in place, but I would say in many instances it is an essential service for a lot of people.
"I understand the Department of Social Protection have a hotline in place for dealing with COVID-19 pandemic payment queries and if they are able to do it in line with Government restrictions and advice surely Revenue could too – even if it were to be a limited service.
"I know many TDs will have experience of people coming into their constituency offices to ask for help with navigating the online Revenue forum, but unfortunately with offices closed we can’t show them in person what they need to do.
"The online Revenue system is very helpful, it’s a great resource, but there are people who don’t have access to it and who need to speak to someone instead.
"I think Revenue should consider operating their phoneline again, even if limited, to give people the chance to speak with an official," she added.