You have until 5pm to pay your property tax, what ought you do?

Homeowners who pay by a lump sum must meet Wednesday deadline or risk an 8% fine

In 2016, some €463 million was collected in property tax, down from €469 million in 2015, with the Revenue reporting an average compliance rate of 97 per cent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

In 2016, some €463 million was collected in property tax, down from €469 million in 2015, with the Revenue reporting an average compliance rate of 97 per cent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Homeowners who pay their annual property tax in a lump sum have just two days left to pay their bill or risk a surcharge of up to 8 per cent.

This year the deadline for payment, in full, of the property tax is Wednesday, January 11th. Homeowners who pay by single debit authority, debit card, credit card, cash, cheque or postal order, have until 5pm on Wednesday to do so.

Homeowners who pay by direct debit or in cash installments don’t have to do anything ahead of the deadline.

Failure to meet Wednesday’s deadline raises the risk of late payment charges. According to the Revenue, people could face interest of as much as 8 per cent on their bill if they miss the deadline. This means the owner of a home in the €300-€350,000 band in Dublin city would pay an extra €40 on their €497 bill.

Unlike water charges, however, where compliance rates just inched past 60 per cent, Revenue says almost everyone paid the tax last year. In 2016, some €463 million was collected in property tax, down from €469 million in 2015, with the Revenue reporting an average compliance rate of 97 per cent. Co Donegal had the lowest compliance rate (92.6 per cent) while Laois had the highest, at 99.8 per cent.

How can I pay it?

If you pay your property tax in full, you probably got a letter from Revenue earlier this year, with your property ID and PIN, confirming the amount due for 2017.

To pay the tax, you can log into your account and pay by debit or credit card, or indicate your bank account details for a transfer from your account. If you pay by card, the money will be withdrawn immediately.

If you wished to pay by cheque, it may be too late. Revenue requested cheque payments by Friday, January 7th, to give time for the cheque to clear ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

You can also pay the full amount in cash at any post office, shops displaying the Payzone logo, and PayPoint in shops and credit unions. You will be charged for this: An Post has a transaction fee of €1, Omnivend charges 4 per cent of the transaction value and Payzone levies €2 on transactions over €100, as well as an additional €0.75.

Unfortunately it’s too late if you’d rather have paid the tax in installments, either in cash or by direct debit; that deadline for notifying Revenue was November 25th. You can however, delay payment of the tax by agreeing to a transfer from your bank account. If you tell Revenue you want to pay this way, by January 11th, you won’t have to pay until March 21st.

If you have any queries about meeting Wednesday’s deadline contact the Revenue helpline at 1890 200 255 (in Ireland) or 00353- 17023049 (from outside Ireland).

Has my bill gone up or down?

Not everyone pays local property tax at the same rate – it depends on where you live. Indeed while properties won’t be revalued until October 31st 2019, at which point most homeowners can expect a significant rise given the trend in house prices, some councils voted to increase the basic rate of LPT for 2017.

Twenty-three councils will apply the basic rate of LPT in 2017, and five have a reduced rate again, but three have increased it.

Last year, residents of the four Dublin councils (Fingal, South Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Dublin City) had their property tax bills cut by 15 per cent and these councils are repeating this cut in 2017. This means that a Dublin resident, who last year paid a reduced rate on a property valued in the €400,000-€450,000 band, will again enjoy a 15 per cent decrease, paying €650 instead of €765. Longford County Council has also decided to keep its 3 per cent cut for 2017.

However, elsewhere some people face a hike in their bill for the first time. Six counties, for example, which last year cut property tax, have levied the basic rate (0.18 per cent) for 2017, which means homeowners in the counties of Clare, Kildare, Louth and Monaghan, and Cork city and county, should expect an increase.

Residents of Limerick city and county, and Wexford and Galway counties, all face a hike, of 10 per cent above the basic rate in Limerick and Galway, and 5 per cent in Wexford.

According to Public Policy, this is the first time councils have voted to apply a higher LPT relative to the basic rate, and it could worry residents in other counties who have yet to see a rise. The move means that someone living in Limerick, who paid tax of €405 on their house valued between €200,000 and €250,000, will pay €445 in 2017. If they lived in Dublin city, their bill would be €344.

If you told the Revenue you would pay your tax monthly, or have always paid it this way, then Wednesday’s deadline doesn’t apply to you. The first deductions will be made on your account on Sunday January 15th, and will continue on the 15th of each month after that.

Next year

Depending on what your local council opts for, homeowners across the country will either pay property tax at the same rate, or up to 15 per cent more or less, in 2018. After that, however, the Government says a new valuation will apply in 2019, and homeowners could face a property tax hike of up to 150 per cent, given the upward trend in house prices since the last valuation in 2013.

If the tax was based solely on property prices, it could mean a €1,000 property tax becoming the norm in Dublin – something which may be politically unpalatable. Fianna Fáil for example, are understood to be considering an option which would see the property tax and water charges merged.