Local property tax paid by 90% of homes, Revenue says

Body has sent letters to 250,000 over arrears on unpaid €100 household charge

Local property tax was paid by 90% of homes but Revenue sent letters on household charge to 250,000. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien /  The Irish Times

Local property tax was paid by 90% of homes but Revenue sent letters on household charge to 250,000. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 15:21

Some 90 per cent of householders have paid the property tax for this year, the Revenue Commissioners has said.

A total of €319 million has been collected so far for 2014. Compliance rates for last year’s property tax, which was a half year, was 94 per cent, with 76 per cent of returns being filed online.

Revenue Commissioners’ chairwoman Josephine Feehily said rates of compliance have been “maintained and even marginally improved, at a time when the opposite might have been expected.

“We recognise and acknowledge the contribution of individual taxpayers and businesses into embedding a compliance culture and the part played by tax and customs practitioners in the achievement of these results.”

Nevertheless, the Revenue Commissioners has written to 250,000 property owners who have not paid their household charge yet.

Though initially an initiative by the Department of the Environment, Revenue took over collection of outstanding arrears for the charge in July last year.

Some €7.6 million have been collected from 39,227 properties who had not paid the household charge from last year, most since the end of March.

The household charge was introduced in 2012 and was a one-off flat charge of €100 on all households. The local property tax was introduced in the second-half of 2013 and is based on the value of one’s home.

Tax collected last year was €37.87 billion, up 3.3 per cent on 2012. Compliance rates for filing and payment ranged from 83 per cent to 98 per cent.

The Revenue Commissioners carried out audits on cash businesses which brought in more than €100 million.

It included 1,078 audits yielding almost €36 million in the construction sector, 696 audits yielding €28.2 million from retail businesses, 629 audits yielding €25 million from landlords of rental properties and 492 audits yielding over €20 million from bars and restaurants.

Revenue also closed down 30 filling stations, bringing the total number of fuel station closures since 2011 to 119. In 2013 Revenue detected and dismantled nine fuel laundering plants.

Some 6,530 drug seizures were made and 771,232 litres of illegally laundered fuel were seized. In addition 40.8 million cigarettes and 4,203kg of tobacco, valued at €18.9m and €1.7m respectively were seized.

In the last couple of weeks, the Revenue Commissioners received information following a long court process, relating to 162 accounts held by Irish individuals in the Isle of Man branch of National Irish Bank.