Only 20pc have paid property tax despite deadline
FOUR in five homeowners have failed to register to pay the controversial property tax.
Despite a deadline of next Tuesday to register by post, figures from the Revenue Commissioners show that most people have yet to sign up for the household levy.
Some €22.2m has been collected from compliant homeowners so far, the Department of Finance said.
A total of 1.66 million homeowners are liable to pay the charge, but just 332,500 have so far registered to pay.
If homeowners miss the May 7 deadline, they will be forced to register online by May 28 next, or face the prospect of being hit with interest charges and late-payment penalties.
The tax will be collected from from July 1 next, and the Government hopes to collect €250m this year.
The amounts collected to date and low registration numbers suggest that people are waiting until the last minute to sign up. Revenue expects a compliance rate of 97pc.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan, who has registered, said that people would pay the tax.
"The media should know from previous experience of the household charge that they (registrations) do rachet up in the last few days," he said.
"I expect there will be a considerable compliance with this, the same way that 75pc complied with the household charge.
"People know they must comply with the law, and know this money is essential to provide local services.
"I will be very happy with whatever Revenue sets as a target.
"With the powers they have, and with the technology they have, I'm sure they'll be able to pursue people, now that we have provided them with a database of 1.2 million people," he added.