Homeowners given seven-day deadline to pay property tax
HOMEOWNERS have been given a final seven-day deadline to pay the property tax or have it taken from their salaries or pensions.
The Revenue Commissioners are writing to property owners who have refused to pay, saying if it is paid within seven days of receiving the letter they will not be hit by interest or penalties.
Some 40,000 letters will be sent by the end of the month, a spokeswoman said. If home-owners refuse to pay, their employers or pension providers will be instructed to deduct the tax at source.
Self-employed property owners would be refused a tax-clearance certificate, she said.
The final warning came as new figures show that some 89pc of eligible homeowners have paid the tax, which has yielded €175m to date.
Another €60m has been committed by way of phased payments, where the tax is paid every month by direct debit or following deduction at source from pay packets.
Data from the Revenue Commissioners shows:
* Some 1.96 million homeowners are liable for the tax. Some 1.58 million have registered, and local authorities and social-housing agencies have registered an additional 160,000 units.
* This means the compliance rate stands at 89pc, meaning Revenue is on course to collect €250m by year end.
* Some 3pc of homeowners have sought an exemption or deferral because they cannot afford to pay.
* The highest rate of compliance is 92pc, found in three local-authority areas – South Tipperary, North Tipperary and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.
* The lowest rate is in Donegal, at 84pc.
* Dublin City is at 85pc.
Revenue chairperson Josephine Feehily said the compliance rate was "remarkable".
"Successfully implementing the full range of payment options was the final piece in the voluntary phase of the local property tax," she said.
"The contribution of compliant property owners and taxpayers to the successful implementation of this tax has been really remarkable."
Professor Rob Kitchin of NUI Maynooth, interviewed on Morning Ireland, said the Revenue Commissioners have the powers to catch out any people who refuse to pay.
"The fact is that they have the power to approach your employers and deduct a payment from source. Because they can pursue you through the courts, ultimately you will have to pay. Otherwise, they will deduct it from welfare payments or other Government benefits."
Meanwhile, The Revenue Commissioners will be given a database from the Local Government Management Agency setting out how many people have paid the household charge.
Revenue became responsible for collecting the charge from July 1, and anyone who has not paid – or refused to pay interest charges imposed for late payment – will be hit with a €200 charge.
"We'll get the file next month and will begin compliance by the end of the year," the spokeswoman said.
She said that people could pay the charge online or by calling the property tax helpline at 1890 200 255, or by sending a cheque or postal order to the Local Property Tax Branch, Revenue Commissioners, PO Box 1, Limerick.
An online facility would be in place by September to facilitate payment, she added.