Friday 24 November 2017

Householders can pay home tax out of welfare cash

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

HOMEOWNERS will be able to pay their property tax directly from their social welfare benefits – and evaders will have the tax taken from their payments.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan won't be changing the tax, despite the objections of Fine Gael TDs in Dublin – who voted the system in to law.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton confirmed to cabinet colleagues that the deduction-at-source will be in place by July.

The move means homeowners will be able to opt to pay through their social welfare payments. But the taxman will be also able to deduct the payment from the welfare benefits of those who refuse to pay.

The Revenue Commissioners will be in charge of collecting the tax.

Fine Gael backbenchers want Mr Noonan to ensure that any funds raised in Dublin are not used to subsidise areas outside the capital, and to reduce the rates paid in the city.

Some are objecting to the "one size fits all" system, where the tax levied is based on the market value of the house.

South Dublin TD Olivia Mitchell claimed the owner of a house in Dublin would pay six times more than the owner of an identical house in the country. But the Cabinet is holding firm.

"The ultimate judgment is to vote for it. It has been voted through and it is now the law," a government spokesman said.

The Coalition is also ruling out any concessions for those who paid high stamp duty.

Mr Noonan's spokesman said there were no plans to alter the tax. An exemption for homes affected by pyrite was being examined. It is expected to be included as an amendment to the Finance Bill, but no other major changes are anticipated.

Irish Independent

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