Thursday 22 February 2018

Property tax cheats now facing €2,300 bill

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

LANDLORDS and holiday home-owners who have dodged the second-property tax until now face a bill of almost €2,300 if they are caught under the household charge clampdown.

The Government’s squeeze on €100 household charge avoiders is expected to catch out second-property owners avoiding the €200 tax.



As soon as every house in the State is on a property register by the end of the year, officials reckon there will be no escape for owners of second properties.



Homeowners who haven’t paid the €100 household charge will start getting letters in the coming weeks telling them to pay up.



The first batch of these letters will be aimed at landlords and owners of second homes.



Government officials believe the arrival of the household charge has already flushed out some second-property owners who were not paying the €200 non-principal private residence tax brought in three years ago.



The penalty attached to the second-property tax – €20 for every month unpaid – continues to accumulate.



A second-property owner who has not been declaring a house since the tax was introduced in 2009 is now liable to pay €2,160 in charges and penalties.



In addition to that, they would also now have to pay the €100 household charge, along with a €10 penalty that has already accumulated.



Under the law, the fines roll over each year. That means a second-property owner who never paid the tax now owes:



- €200 for 2009 second-property tax plus €640 in accumulated penalties of €20 a month (total €840).



- €200 for 2010 plus €480 penalties.



- €200 for 2010 plus €480 penalties.



- €200 for 2011 plus €240 penalties.



- €200 for 2012 second property tax due at the end of this month.



- €110 for 2012 household charge plus penalties.



Back in 2009, the €200 charge had to be paid by July 31, with fines of €20 a month kicking in from October 31 onwards.



For someone who did not pay the 2009 charge, the €200 bill has now mushroomed to €840. It breaks down as follows:



€200 charge plus two €20 penalties for November and December -- total €240. The penalties continue throughout 2010 (€240) and 12 months for 2011 (€240). That brings the total to €720, plus €120 for the first six months of this year -- a complete total for the initial €200 back in 2009 of €840 now.



From 2010 onwards, the €200 charge had to be paid by March 31, with fines of €20 a month kicking in from June 30 onwards. The same principle of €20 being added to every month continues on the original €200 for 2010.



And separately the €20 goes on to the €200 due for 2011.



This year's tax is due by the end of this month -- adding another €200 to the total bill.



It is believed the introduction of the household charge has already forced some second-home owners to come forward and pay their back taxes as they knew the arrival of the registration of every home in the country would close the net.



And the cross-referencing of databases has also caught some more second-home tax evaders.



By the end of the year, the Government is planning to have a complete database of every home in the country, all rented accommodation, every holiday home and all houses with septic tanks.



Database



Officials will be matching the database of landlords and second property tax against the list of household charge payers, by using the Private Residential Tenancies Board list of landlords and the Non-Principle Private Residence list of second properties.



And there appears to be some anomalies between the different sets of figures.



Last year, 145,000 landlords were registered, while 181,000 people paid the second property tax. But 135,000 of these people paid for only one property.



The figures would suggest there are still a significant number of second property owners out there not on the system.

Irish Independent

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