Revenue not privy to detail of property tax changes

Anne Looney: ‘until the Government makes an announcement we have no information’

January 10th is the final day for payment of the Local Property Tax. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

January 10th is the final day for payment of the Local Property Tax. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

The head of Revenue’s Local Property Tax section said they are not privy to the Government’s plans to change how the Local Property Tax (LPT) will be estimated from 2020.

The current valuation levels for the tax were based on property values as of May 1st, 2013, and this method of assessment is due to end this year.

Anne Looney said: “Valuation is still based from May 1st, 2013, we are still operating on that basis, up to and including 2019, we’re operating on the basis of that valuation.

The average asking price for a house nationwide at the end of the second quarter of 2018 was €254,000. This compares to an average asking price of €170,400 at the end of the third quarter in 2013 (when the property tax rates were set) and to an average of €378,000 at the peak of the house price bubble in 2007.

“The Government will decide on the next steps and what will be from 2020 on. We are not privy to that, until the Government makes an announcement we have no information on that,” Ms Looney said.

At present 86 per cent of Irish homes are valued at under €250,000 for the basis of the property tax assessment despite a sharp rise in property values since 2013.

January 10th is the final day for payment of LPT and there was a compliance rate for 2018 of 97 per cent.

Ms Looney told RTE’s Today with Miriam the 3 per cent non-payment was somewhat overstated, as it included exempt properties and property owners who were ill or unable to engage with the Revenue to pay the tax. She added some properties were also unoccupied.

Ms Looney warned there were a range of options available to the Revenue Commissioners to pursue the relatively small number of people who had decided not to pay, including those not residing in Ireland.

“Non-resident does not mean non-payment. If we get no response to our letters we will look to mandatory deduction, from salary or occupational pension. At any time we can withhold a refund of other tax, and put it against the LPT due.

“We can also withhold tax clearance until LPT is paid,” she said.