Local property tax extended deadline comes and goes

Cantillon: No escape from Revenue for those who failed to file their returns

There was no further respite for the hundreds of thousands of homeowners who missed the original deadline for filing their local property tax return. Revenue closed its doors at 5pm on Wednesday.

Barely half of homeowners across the State had completed their self-assessed returns by last Thursday, just one working day before the initial November 7th deadline.

As that deadline approached, about 80,000 people a day were submitting an updated valuation of their homes, as required, together with choosing a method of payment.

The three-day extension to the deadline, announced last Friday, was granted on the basis that “it is clear that property owners are making every effort to fully comply with their LPT obligations”.

Final rush

As close to half those required to file had yet to do so even with that last-minute rush, you have to presume the Revenue was speaking somewhat tongue in cheek.

Quite how many people actually completed the required registration of the updated valuation of their properties by the extended deadline will not be known until later this week. There certainly was a rush of applications in the final days of registration, with the Revenue’s system strained under the pressure on Tuesday.

And what now for those who missed out?

Well, first up, they are still obliged to file a return. Meantime, the tax authorities will charge on the basis of the valuation they estimated in the letters sent out individually to each of more than 1.4 million property owners.

Self-assessment procedure

That valuation may be too high, in which case homeowners lose out until they engage. Or it could be too low, in which case the homeowners are in trouble as they have a legal responsibility under the self-assessment procedure to accurately value their properties and pay the resulting charge.

Anyone paying by monthly direct debit or by deduction at source will have the Revenue estimate that amount taken automatically. For new filers and those paying by other means, the bill will mount and potentially leave those property owners open to enforcement action.

Even if you ignore Revenue, there is no escape.