Most say household property tax estimate is wrong

Extent of perceived overvaluation is at its highest in Dublin, survey reveals

An AA Home Insurance survey  found 40 per cent of those asked believed the value of their property had been overestimated by the Revenue Commissioners. Photograph: Joe St Leger

An AA Home Insurance survey found 40 per cent of those asked believed the value of their property had been overestimated by the Revenue Commissioners. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Mon, May 27, 2013, 01:00


Nearly two-thirds of homeowners believe the estimated value placed on their property by Revenue for property tax purposes is wrong, with most saying that the valuation is too high, according to a survey published this morning.

The AA Home Insurance survey of 2,800 homeowners found that 40 per cent of those asked believed the value of their property had been overestimated, while 15 per cent felt their home had been undervalued, with 42 per cent saying they felt the valuation was correct. Some 13 per cent of those polled said their home had been overvalued by more than one tax band.


Perceived overvaluation
The extent of the perceived overvaluation was at its highest in Dublin, with half those polled expressing concern the valuations were too high.

“This tax is causing a lot of worry for ordinary home owners,” said the AA’s director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan. “We found that across the country the Revenue letters are much more likely to overvalue a house than they are to undervalue it. This was consistent across the country but much higher in Dublin, where you are more than three times as likely to receive a valuation that is too high compared to one that is too low.”

With some variations, everywhere but Dublin showed roughly 33 per cent of homes had been overvalued, with 20 per cent undervalued, in the view of the homeowner.

“To be fair, the AA fully understands that the Revenue letters stress that they are only meant to be a guide,” Mr Faughnan said. “The AA has discussed this with Revenue and they made a number of significant points.”


Self-assessment tax
He said Revenue had emphasised that the property tax is a self-assessment tax and that Revenue are not valuing anyone’s property.

It also pointed out that the letters give the householder an amount on which their tax liability will be calculated if they do not submit their own valuation and that the amounts in selected bands are based on the average value in each area.

Even so, the AA remains very concerned on behalf of homeowners. “Revenue are issuing a guideline amount of your tax liability based on average values in your area, we understand that,” Mr Faughnan said.


‘Average’ valuations
“What we do not understand is how those ‘average’ valuations can be too high in 48 per cent of cases and too low in 15 per cent of cases for Dublin. That has not been adequately explained.”

The AA’s advice to homeowners is the same as that issued by Revenue. Homeowners need to make their own estimate as to the real value of their home and pay the property tax accordingly. The deadline for paying the tax online is tomorrow.