Well today I popped down to Revenue which is the name for the Irish tax office. I had my forms from last year’s tax and a few medical receipts with me. I looked online to see what office I had to go to (they tend to insist that you only go to one place here – when I voted I had to go to one particular polling booth too) and off I went.
But surprise surprise noone there – the guy in the cloakroom suggested I go to another office.
I was dubious, having experienced the joy of the Irish run-around before, but I had nothing better to do so I headed for the other side of town.
Well, when I got there I was surprised indeed! The office had a clear sign pointing out where I should go, so I followed the directions (which were correct too), took a number and waited in the queue to have my number validated by reception – basically this means having someone make sure I’ve got the right forms etc Took 5 mins to get through this queue.
I then sat in the waiting area and settled myself expecting to spend an hour or so – but no, 15 mins tops and my number was called. The next section which was just full of desks had a sign pointing me to which desk to go to and the girl there was incredibly helpful – turns out I was missing two forms, but she handed them to me and I filled them in on the spot.
And the biggest bonus, my tax was assessed right there and then. Under half an hour. My return will be deposited in my bank account in about 10 days.
So, the Irish are capable of running an efficient and helpful service – if only they’d adopt that model for other areas too.