Carlow homeowners most compliant property tax payers

Donegal has the worst compliance rate as nationwide tax brings in €482 million in 2018

 Property tax brought in €482 million last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES

Property tax brought in €482 million last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES


Homeowners in Carlow were the most compliant property tax payers in 2018, while those in Donegal were once again the least compliant, new figures from Revenue show.

According to an assessment of property tax figures for last year, some €482 million was collected, up from €477 million in 2017.

Overall, Revenue reported a compliance rate of 97 per cent, in line with previous years, indicating that the “vast majority” of property owners fully comply with the tax.

However, compliance rates do vary from county to county. In Carlow, for example, some 23,100 properties submitted a tax return, bringing in €3.8 million, and indicating a compliance rate of 99.6 per cent, the highest for 2018. It was followed by Fingal in Dublin (99.4 per cent) and Clare (98.8 per cent).

In Donegal, however, the compliance rate fell marginally, down to 93.3 per cent, with 73,400 homeowners paying €11.1 million in tax. Dublin city was another area with a low rate of compliance at 94.4 per cent.

Increase in valuation

While valuation rates were set back in 2013, Revenue continues to challenge some of these values. During 2018, for example, Revenue issued some 250,000 compliance letters, down from 300,000 in 2017, which led to 786 homeowners having to increase the valuations for their properties during the year, resulting in higher tax bills.

This means that more than 13,280 valuations have increased since 2013, either on the homeowner’s own initiative, or at the behest of Revenue.

Revenue will often look for a revaluation when a property is sold, ensuring that the tax is “fully regularised” before the property conveyance is completed.

According to the data, half of all those who increased their valuation did so by one band, with 27.4 per cent jumping by two bands, and 5.9 per cent advancing by more than five bands, a move which would have led to a significant increase in the owner’s tax bill.

The figures show that Leitrim is the county with the greatest proportion of lower valued properties, with 61 per cent of properties owned in the county worth €100,000 or less, based on 2013 valuations. It’s followed by Longford (60.4 per cent) and Roscommon (56.9 per cent). Across the country, some 456,960 properties were valued at €100,000 or less according to the 2018 figures.

At the other end of the scale, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown has the highest proportion of properties valued at €300,000 or more, at 59.2 per cent. It’s followed by Fingal (21.5 per cent); Dublin city (19.7 per cent); and south Dublin (19.3 per cent). The figures show that some 3,360 properties were valued at €1 million or more across the country.

Some 49,000 homeowners were exempt from the tax in 2018, due to reasons such as they bought their home in 2013 and are thus exempt until October 2019; the property was damaged by pyrite; it’s part of an unfinished housing estate; or it’s owned by a charity.

There were around 58,000 claims for deferral in 2018, down from 62,000 in 2017. The biggest reason in requesting a deferral was because the applicant was below the income threshold, of €15,000 for a single person. This accounted for 97 per cent of deferrals, followed by insolvency (1.5 per cent) and executor of an estate (1.4 per cent).