Homeowners' guide to calculating and paying the new tax
These estimates the Revenue are making, where do they come from?
Ah, you thought the property price register was for our benefit, didn’t you?
The register, which went live six months ago, has been a nosey-parker’s dream come true as it allows them to see exactly how much their neighbours are buying and selling their homes for.
Its main purpose is to help the Revenue determine how much properties across the State are selling for and then tax you accordingly.
That is not all, however.
The Revenue is also going to use a database developed by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland and An Post which contains information on the services and amenities near your home.
This is good news if you live on a barren and windswept stretch of the M50 where there is nothing that will add value to your home, but perhaps not so good if you live in Ranelagh.
So what happens if the Revenue underestimates the value of my house because it doesn’t know about my basement swimming pool and gazebo?
You have to tell them the truth.
If you have the best house on the worst street and the Revenue pitches you at a tax band below what your house is worth you will get away with it for some time.
However, if you come to sell the house, you will have to tell the buyer what band you are in and if that is out of whack with the price you are looking for, questions will be asked.
And when you sell the property for a price in a band two or three steps above the one you have declared, the Revenue will come looking for you.
I’m scared. I don’t want to get into trouble but I don’t know if my house is worth €195,000 or €205,000. What should I do?
Revenue will have 1.9 million houses to tax and are unlikely to be poring over every return with forensic detail.
It wants to get the money in and will make allowances for people who make honest mistakes in pricing.
If you put €195,000 instead of €205,000 on the form, it seems unlikely you would have your door broken down by the authorities demanding an extra €2 a week.
What will happen if my home is worth more than €1 million?
You will have to get the property professionally valued.
Yes, you will have to pay for that valuation but if, unlike the rest of us, you live in a house worth more than €1 million, you can probably afford the €200 it will cost to make sure the price is right.
So what do I do when I get the letter?
You select a payment option and complete the relevant details. You indicate the band number that corresponds to your property and you indicate the tax due.
You sign the form and post it back to Revenue.
Then you wait for them to take the money.
The online process is easier but the same questions will have to be answered.
What happens if I don’t get a letter looking for the tax?
It doesn’t matter. If you are liable to pay the tax, you are liable to pay the tax, even if the letter gets lost in the post.
I am a landlord – who pays: me or my tenants?
It is very simple. The owner pays. In the event that a property has multiple owners or if it is owned by a business, a number of children or a separated couple, then they are all liable, but they need to designate one person to pay the tax.
And if I just don’t pay?
To paraphrase Liam Neeson in Taken: They will find you. And they will kill you.
Or at least they will charge you 8 per cent interest on whatever you owe.