Saturday 19 January 2019

Property tax: Homeowners have just days to pay as we look at who pays the most... and the least

Local Property Tax figures for 2017 have been published
Local Property Tax figures for 2017 have been published
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

HOMEOWNERS have just days to pay their property tax.

Wednesday is the deadline for those who want to pay the tax by using a credit or debit card, or by writing a cheque.

And the average amount of the tax is four times higher in Dublin’s Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown than in Leitrim, new figures from Revenue indicate.

People who decide to pay the tax in full by annual debit authority, or what is effectively an electronic cheque, have to notify Revenue by Wednesday that they intend to use this payment method.  The payment will then be deducted on March 21 next.

Most people paid the tax last year, with Revenue saying the compliance rate was 97pc.

Some €477m was raised from the tax in 2017. This includes almost €3m in household charge arrears.

But Revenue said small numbers continue to resist paying the charge.

“A relatively small number of taxpayers chose to remain non-compliant, leaving Revenue with no alternative other than to deploy debt collection/enforcement measures or other sanctions, to secure payment,” it said.

It was forced to refer cases to the sheriff where there was a refusal to pay, it denied tax clearance certs to people who had not paid up, and it made mandatory deductions from salaries or pensions from others.

In an update, Revenue said 755 cases were referred to the sheriff/external solicitors for collection.

More than 12,930 tax clearance requests were refused for those who refused to pay up.

Another 80,000 homeowners had the tax deducted directly from their wages or pension last year, what Revenue calls mandatory deductions.

The figures show a huge discrepancy in the level of the tax around the country, reflecting property values.

Homeowners in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown paid the most last year, with an average of €524, calculations based on the Revenue data shows.

In Dublin City, the average property tax was €295, and in Cork city it was €214.

But in rural counties, where property values are much lower, the amounts were a fraction of this.

In Offaly, the average property tax bill was €163 last year. It was €150 in Donegal.

Leitrim had the lowest property tax at €130.

This is four times lower than the amount paid in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.

Collector-General Michael Gladney said he was pleased people were paying the tax, which he referred to as the local property tax (LPT).

“There is a continuing high compliance rate for LPT, currently 97pc, and the vast majority of property owners fully comply with their payment obligations either in a single payment, or with phased payments.”

Paying by direct debit is the most popular way to get the money to Revenue, followed by debit card use.

Dublin city, followed by Cork county, had the highest percentage of homeowners subject to mandatory deduction of the tax.

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