Property tax, pensions and PRSI changes feature in Budget Q&A
Property tax, pensions and changes to PSRI were among the topics that generated much of the queries submitted to the irishtimes.com Budget Q&A.
The announcement by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that a property tax would come into effect from July next year cause much concern among readers, many of whom were confused about how the tax would be levied, who would be responsible for paying, and to what kind of land or property it applied.
The removal of the non principal private residence (NPPR) charge in 2014 versus the abolition of the household charge in January next year was also raised, with some householders confused about which charges would apply and others
The panel of experts consisted of Irish Times deputy business editor Dominic Coyle, Pricewatch editor Conor Pope, and PwC’s Sharon McCallig and John Kelly, fielded questions on the new PRSI arrangements, taxes on savings and changes to the .
The taxing of maternity benefit and changes to maternity leave entitlements for teachers also raised some eyebrows among readers, with queries about when the new system would kick in raised a number of times.
Consumers are facing new charges next year, including a hike in motor tax, rising prices for tobacco, and a jump in the price of alcohol. However, the plans to raise motor tax raised only a few questions, and others were more concerned about stealth hikes that may have been buried in budget detail than any impact the rise in duty on alcohol and tobacco would have on their weekly finances.
The issue of the cut to child benefit seemed clear enough to consumers, with the only queries on the issue from readers interested in what it meant for families with multiple births.
A sample of questions posed on the Q&A.
Q: Jim, Cork - Will individuals who purchased a site in 2012 and who are building a house in 2013 and planning to move in 2013 have to pay property tax?
A: John Kelly, PwC - Based on the information provided yesterday, such individuals would not appear to qualify for exemption from the property tax. There is an exemption for newly constructed but unsold residential property, however, this applies to properties on the housing market and not houses built for the owner to live in.
Q: Jim, Dublin 14 - Will dirt tax apply to An Post savings bonds and certificates?
A: Dominic Coyle, Irish Times - State savings have traditionally been exempt from DIRT and there is nothing in the Budget to suggest that that will change.
Q: Rhona MacSweeney, Cabra - Will Maternity Benefit be subject to the income levy in addition to it being treated as taxable income.
A: Sharon McCallig, PwC - The Universal Social Charge (USC) has now replaced the income levy and it has been confirmed that the USC will not apply to Maternity Benefit.