Sunday 25 February 2018

Revenue to take property tax out of pay from June

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

THE Revenue Commissioners will begin deducting property tax from payroll or social welfare payments of people who have refused to pay the charge from as early as June.

Revenue chairman Josephine Feehily warned that property owners who had not paid the tax would be charged at source after the deadline for payment passes.

Ms Feehily said her department had received some 218,000 property tax returns so far out of 1.6 million – a rate that she described as "excellent".

But she said that for "people who have not engaged with us" then they will start taking the cash at the end of June or late July.

"We will enforce the estimate (of property tax owed) by deduction from payroll for workers on PAYE and from occupational pensions for people using them," she said.

Workers who pay their taxes under the self-assessed system will be hit even harder. Their tax returns will be deemed to be "not compliant" if they have not paid their property tax, and they will be surcharged on their return from October. That will effectively double the charge.

Speaking at the launch of their annual report, Ms Feehily urged property owners to submit their estimate of how much they should pay, and not just accept the amount the Revenue has charged.

The Revenue has been roundly criticised for sending out property tax letters to citizens that have apparently wildly overestimated the value of their houses.

Ms Feehily, however, made it clear that people had to submit their own tax return if they wanted to avoid an incorrect charge.

"The amount on the letters we have sent out is not a relevant figure unless the property owner does not submit their own return. You decide how much your property is, you pick a band and you pay the tax.

"What we are saying is this is the amount we will charge property owners if they do not submit their own return," she added.

People such as tenants who have received letters from the Revenue for property tax in error have been urged to contact the taxman so that they will not be pursued.

The March Exchequer returns showed some €1.3m in property tax had been paid so far. Not all of the 218,000 returns have been paid in full so far, she added.

The latest developments on the property tax came as Revenue revealed that the tax-take last year increased by 7pc to €36.7bn.

The Revenue seized some 1.1 million litres of illegally laundered fuel and 95.6 million cigarettes, as well as more than 5,000kg of tobacco, valued at €43.3m.

The Revenue also confirmed that people paying their property tax by credit card would incur a 1.49pc service charge.

Irish Independent

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