Business Property & Mortgages

Saturday 30 August 2014

Thousands face Revenue audit if they fail to pay property tax

Charlie Weston and Paul Melia

Published 08/10/2013 | 04:00

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THOUSANDS of people who are due to file their taxes in the next three weeks have been warned they risk a Revenue audit if they fail to pay the property tax.

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People who dodge the tax will be regarded as "not tax compliant" – even if they file a tax return and pay all other taxes.

Some 600,000 people are expected to file tax returns from the end of this month. This is mainly made up of the self-employed and farmers, but also around 275,000 PAYE workers who have rental, dividend and other income, which was not taxed when they got it.

Those who submit their return online have until Thursday, November 14.

Around one in 10 homeowners has failed to pay the controversial property tax. This amounts to 159,000 households.

A spokeswoman for the Revenue Commissioners said people who are due to file a tax return, but have yet to pay the property tax, will be regarded as "non-tax compliant".

EVASION

Revenue confirmed these people would leave themselves open to a tax audit. This involves Revenue officials poring over the bank accounts, trading information and other financial documents of a person to check for tax evasion.

And those who have to file a tax return but have not paid the property tax could also be hit with a surcharge of 10pc of the income tax they owe.

Tax expert Cathal Maxwell, of PayLessTax.ie, said the move to impose the special charge would mean that a sole trader who owes €10,000 in income tax would be hit with an additional charge of €1,000 if they failed to pay the property tax.

The surcharge will be imposed on those who fail to submit a local property tax return, who fail to pay the property tax, or who have not entered into an agreement with Revenue.

The Revenue warning comes after it released new data showing that one in 10 households has yet to pay the property tax.

The lowest compliance rates are in Donegal and Louth, at 84pc, suggesting that Revenue may target offenders in these counties first.

In the capital, Dublin city has the lowest compliance rate at 87pc.

But Sligo, Waterford, Offaly, Meath, Mayo, Longford, Limerick City, Leitrim, Laois, Kerry, Galway, and Cork County are also below the 90pc rate.

The Revenue figures show that three out of four homeowners valued their homes at €200,000 or less for the controversial new tax.

A quarter of homeowners said their property was valued at less than €100,000, according to the Revenue.

Just over half of those who paid used credit or debit cards.

Some €200m has been raised from the tax so far.

Irish Independent

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