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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Up to 380,000 homeowners defy Revenue after failing to provide new property tax valuation for homes

Approximately 380,000 homeowners have defied Revenue by failing to provide a new property tax valuation for their homes, meaning about 12% of homeowners have failed to file a new return to Revenue valuing their homes for tax. This number was revealed as the tax payment itself is due Wednesday for those who pay by cash or cheque.

Revenue had asked last year for every homeowner to file a return with a new valuation for their home by the first week of November but suspicions have arisen from the vast number of homeowners who have not provided a new valuation to Revenue that some of these people have been underpaying the tax.

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It has also been stressed by Revenue that some of these individuals have been paying the tax since it was introduced but they have failed to provide a return based on the new valuation which implies that they are paying the Lower Property Tax based on the outdated 2013 valuations.

With the tax rate being lowered this year and the valuation band widened, not everyone will be paying more tax despite the surge in house values. Revenue Chairman Niall Cody stated that the return compliance rate for the Lower Property Tax stands at 81% for 2022 while payment compliance stands at 91% while officials anxiously await an accurate picture of home values to ensure people are not underpaying.

As a result, Mr. Cody has strongly urged people who have not yet paid or made arrangements to pay or file their valuation for the newly updated tax, to do so immediately. In relation to the possibility of sanctions being imposed on those who do not pay the tax, Revenue stated that non-compliant homeowners would be faced with such sanctions when the pandemic eases off.

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However, Revenue stated that some issues have arisen from homeowners while insisting that most people were not trying to “game” the tax by deliberately undervaluing their homes. Instead, they recognised that some people were under financial pressure at the moment and that a number of homeowners had been in contact with them, attempting to file a return with some having issues around confirming ownership of the homes.

Despite a 13.5% rise in housing prices back in October, new statistics revealed that 54.2% of those who filed a return with a new valuation said their homes were worth less than €262,500. Some homeowners admitted that they had deliberately undervalued their homes as they did not agree with the tax.

Tax authority research has assured that the Lower Property Tax valuations fall within the average sale price in the vast majority of local authority areas. The average valuation band for Lower Property Tax houses ranges from €200,001 to €262,500 with the average sales price at the end of last year being €295,000.

The research added, “Minor differences between LPT valuations and the most recent sales prices are to be expected given the nature of the two data sources being compared and the characteristics of Ireland’s property ­market”. Anyone who is paying the tax in phased instalments will have it deducted this month from their wages and pensions.

Regular cash payments being made through a service provider are also being deducted. Individuals who pay with debit or credit card will have the amount deducted from the card account as soon as they complete the transactions. An annual debit instruction will see the money being deducted from the individual’s account on March 21st unless they specify for it is to come out before that date.

IMAGE – “Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020” by Houses of the Oireachtas is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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