Bray People - - NEWS -

FROM July 1, most homeowners will be forced to pay a lo­cal prop­erty tax (LPT) based on the value of their homes to fund the pro­vi­sion of lo­cal ser­vices ad­min­is­tered by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

When the house­hold charge of €100 was in­tro­duced in 2012 there were wide­spread fears that this would rise con­sid­er­ably once peo­ple reg­is­tered, and th­ese fears have now been re­alised, un­less you own a house val­ued at €100,000 or less.

Un­der the new LPT sys­tem, houses val­ued un­der €100,000 will be li­able to a yearly tax of €90, €10 less than the house­hold charge which has been abol­ished since Jan­uary 1 this year.

This year how­ever, homeowners will only have to pay six months of the LPT as the tax comes into ef­fect on July 1.

In 2014 the full pay­ment will come into ef­fect and will, in many cases, be a sharp in­crease on the now de­funct house­hold charge of €100.

The prop­erty tax will not just ap­ply to pri­vate ci­ti­zens, as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and so­cial hous­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions are also be­ing hit with charges which in most cases will run to hun­dreds of thou­sands of euro.

This will see the ma­jor­ity of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try strug­gle to bal­ance the books for 2013 as they at­tempt to eke out the money needed in al­ready straight­ened bud­gets.

The LPT for the last six months of 2013 will range from a low of €45 to a high of €877 on prop­er­ties un­der €1mil­lion. In 2014, th­ese fig­ures will dou­ble as the tax be­comes due for the full 12 months.

Ef­fec­tively, prop­er­ties un­der €1mil­lion will be taxed on the mid­point of the rel­e­vant band at a rate of 0.18 per cent.

For prop­er­ties val­ued over €1 mil­lion, the tax will be charged at 0.18 per cent on the first €1 mil­lion of value and 0.25 per cent on any bal­ance in ex­cess of €1 mil­lion, with no band­ing ap­plied.

Pay­ment can be made by credit or debit card, cash, di­rect debit or by vol­un­tary de­duc­tion at source from Ir­ish salary or wages, oc­cu­pa­tional pen­sions or cer­tain pay­ments from the De­part­ment of So­cial Pro­tec­tion and the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine.

If the LPT is not paid, a charge will at­tach to the prop­erty which must be paid if the prop­erty is sold or the own­er­ship trans­ferred.

In ad­vance of the start of the LPT the Rev­enue Com­mis­sion­ers will be send­ing out in­for­ma­tion book­lets, in March 2013, to each house­hold li­able for the LPT.

This com­pre­hen­sive book­let will con­tain de­tails of how to file the tax re­turn on the prop­erty or prop­er­ties owned. It will in­clude Rev­enue’s es­ti­mate of the amount of tax due on the prop­erty.

Val­u­a­tion will be by self-as­sess­ment in 2013 and those val­u­a­tions will be used un­til the end of 2016.

How­ever if a per­son fails to sub­mit a re­turn, the Rev­enue Com­mis­sioner’s es­ti­mate of the tax will be­come payable by de­fault, when it falls due on July 1.

House­hold­ers will have to file the prop­erty tax re­turn to Rev­enue by May 7 or May 28 if fil­ing elec­tron­i­cally.

The re­turn submitted in 2013 will be valid for the years 2013 to 2016 un­less a per­son’s cir­cum­stances change or they wish to se­lect an alternative-pay­ment method.

Ac­cord­ing to the Rev­enue Com­mis­sion­ers web­site penal­ties for those who fail to pay the tax will be as se­vere as for other forms of tax de­fault.

‘If you don’t send back the LPT re­turn form and your self-as­sess­ment of your tax li­a­bil­ity, the tax set out in the Rev­enue es­ti­mate will be col­lected us­ing nor­mal col­lec­tion or en­force­ment op­tions – de­duc­tion at source, sher­iff, court ac­tion, at­tach­ment or­ders.

‘In­ter­est and penal­ties may also ap­ply. In cir­cum­stances where stan­dard en­force­ment is not ap­plied for what­ever rea­son, then a charge will be put on your prop­erty. You won’t be able to sell it with­out paying the tax to­gether with in­ter­est and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, penal­ties.’

In the case of the self-em­ployed, the Rev­enue Com­mis­sion­ers will not is­sue a tax clear­ance cer­tifi­cate where there is un­paid LPT. Late de­liv­ery of an LPT re­turn will be Linked to the fil­ing of an in­come tax re­turn, thus ex­pos­ing a self-em­ployed tax­payer to the penalty of an in­come tax sur­charge.

In­ter­est charges of eight per cent per year on late pay­ments will com­mence from July 1, 2013.

Peo­ple with gross in­comes of up to €15,000 (sin­gle) and €25,000 (cou­ples) can de­fer the full LPT un­til their fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances im­prove or the prop­erty is sold.

Cer­tain de­fer­ral ar­range­ments are also avail­able for peo­ple at higher lev­els of in­come, and for peo­ple whose in­come is less than a cer­tain per­cent­age of their an­nual mort­gage in­ter­est.

Some owner-oc­cu­piers may be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for mar­ginal re­lief, which will al­low them to de­fer up to 50 per cent of their LPT li­a­bil­ity.

In­ter­est will be charged on de­ferred amounts at a re­duced rate of 4 per cent per an­num.

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