Business Property & Mortgages

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Penalties for property tax dodgers as deadline hits

Revenue takes in €6m over 48 hours amid last-minute rush

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Published 31/03/2014 | 02:30

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The Revenue Commissioners
The Revenue Commissioners

REVENUE officials are preparing to impose a raft of tough penalties on homeowners who fail to meet tonight's property tax deadline.

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A staggering €6m was collected by the taxman over a 48-hour period – bringing the total compliance rate for the tax to 88pc.

A last-minute scramble to pay the property tax is expected today ahead of Revenue's midnight deadline.

Homeowners have also been settling their house charge arrears, with some 2,000 payments totalling €4m made in the last couple of days alone.

But any property owner who ignores tonight's deadline faces being slapped with tough penalties, including the prospect of being hauled in front of the courts.

"Customers have all day to pay. Interest will kick in immediately when the deadline is passed at midnight and will be followed by tougher penalties," a Revenue spokeswoman told the Irish Independent.

The surge in payments over the weekend follows Revenue's warning that it would impose tough penalties, interest and pursue enforcement action on property owners who refuse to pay.

According to Revenue, the compliance rate for the property tax last year has now reached 93pc, while 88pc of customers have settled their 2014 bills.

ARREARS

The surge in late payments has also been seen in relation to the household charge. "In respect of arrears of the 2012 household charge, we've received 2,000 payments in the last couple of days and have collected €4m in total in arrears of the household charge since we took over its collection," the spokeswoman added.

However, around 400,000 homeowners have yet to settle liabilities relating to the household charge, which was increased to €200 last year. The bill, which was initially set at €100, will reach €213 by the end of April after interest is applied.

Anyone who fails to pay is being warned that they face the prospect of having the sum deducted from their wages or occupational pensions. Interest will be charged at a rate of 0.0219pc per day. Enforcement action could ultimately follow and property owners face a visit from the sheriff or further legal action.

The tough penalties will be rolled out as part of Revenue's 'compliance programme' – which will also focus on those who deliberately undervalued their home or claimed an exemption they weren't entitled to. Over 2,000 property owners have already owned up to under-declaring the value of their homes since November.

It was reported yesterday that Revenue significantly underestimated the number of homeowners who would value their properties at the lowest possible valuation band of €100,000 or less. Some 413,000 homeowners chose this band – far more than Revenue's estimate of 246,000, according to the 'Sunday Business Post'.

The property tax can be paid by visiting www.revenue.ie or phoning 1890 200255.

Irish Independent

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