Friday 25 May 2018

Michael O'Leary's €157 bill (and why Sean Quinn would only pay €112)

SOME of the swankiest homes in the State have emerged with low valuations on the Revenue Commissioners' tool for calculating the property tax.

Tax officials defended the valuation guide on its website, insisting it had not got access to information on house sizes to allow it to give an accurate valuation for every home.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary's country pile in Gigginstown, Co Westmeath, has a value of between €100,001 to €150,000, despite its size and the fact that it nestles on tree-dotted lands.

This means the multi-millionaire would be liable for tax of only €157 per year.

The fact that the Revenue website uses average values for properties in each local electoral area means that the huge mansion of former billionaire Sean Quinn is worth less than a terraced house in a run-down part of Dublin. His Cavan superhome ends up in band two, which is between €100,001 and €150,000.

This means that homeowners there would pay just €112 in 2013.

Yvonne Keating's family home on the plush estate of Abington, Malahide, Co Dublin, appears in tax band 10.

This values the home at €500,001 to €550,000, and so it would accrue a property tax of €472 this year. But just down the road, a house on the very same estate sold for €3m.

And singer Bono will need to call the valuers as his home is only worth €500,000, according to the Revenue's valuation guide.

However, a disclaimer on the new Revenue site says that it is "not relevant in the case of properties with a market value in excess of €1m". President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Roland O'Connell said most people in mega-mansions could afford to shell out for a professional valuation to help them when completing their property tax return.

A spokeswoman for Revenue said its tool was not for valuing individual homes and it was up to householders to double-check the property value from a number of sources.

Irish Independent

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