independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Homeowners face €100-a-day fines for ignoring property tax letters

HOMEOWNERS who ignore letters from the Revenue Commissioners seeking information for the new property tax face fines of up to €100 a day.

Tax experts warned that householders can be fined daily if they fail to respond to Revenue officials who are seeking a value of their property.

In a little-noticed section of the property tax act, powers have been given to Revenue to impose €100-a-day fines for those who do not co-operate. Imposing daily fines could leave a defaulting homeowners with a massive bill on top of the property tax, said Barry Flanagan of Taxback.com.

"Those who ignore Revenue letters about the local property tax, do so at their peril," he said.

He said the Exchequer was badly burned by the high level of non-payment of the household charge and there is now a determination in Government to ensure there is no repeat.

Letters are due to go out to 1.6 million households in the next two weeks, including a form for householders to fill out with details of what they think their home is worth. The letters will include guidelines on how to value your home, Revenue said.

These Revenue forms, called a return, will have to be filed by May 28. Revenue will begin to reconcile the returns received against its master list of homes.

The tax officials are set to use electricity suppliers, property registers and even satellite technology as the source for information on home values, Mr Flanagan said.

"The first letters to the employers of non-compliers will probably issue in early June, demanding deductions from an employee's salary each month. The message from Revenue is clear – not paying is not an option," he said.

Wages

"If you are named on a property tax return and do not respond, you will be treated as having accepted the estimate. Revenue can then contact your employer and begin deducting this amount from your wages."

He said that anyone who is the relevant person, in terms of the property's ownership, and are sent a request for information but fail to respond, then they are liable to a fine in the amount of €100 per day for each day the failure to respond continues.

Mr Flanagan said that those likely to be hit with daily fines include homes where the ownership is unclear – such as those owned by trustees or the administrators of wills.

And houses owned by several people could also be vulnerable to daily fines.

Irish Independent

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