Friday 15 December 2017

Property tax appeal system 'won't cope'

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

CHARTERED accountants have warned the Department of Finance that the property tax appeals system will not be able to cope with a large number of challenges.

It came after the Irish Independent revealed that just two people will be responsible for deciding on the final stage property tax appeals from the country's 1.6 million homeowners.

Chartered Accountants Ireland has contacted the department to warn about the possible impact on the appeals system.

Its director of taxation Brian Keegan said the two Appeals Commissioners were already responsible for tax appeals from the country's 1.3 million active taxpayers and 100,000 firms.

"Two people can't cope with the potential volume of appeals," he said.

Revenue is expected to carry out analysis next year of whether people have under-paid the tax.

If taxpayers cannot reach agreement with the Revenue, they have the option of appealing free of charge to the Appeal Commissioners.

However, they will have to pay their property tax bill before they are allowed to appeal it.

Mr Keegan said he expected that most property tax appeals would be about who was liable.

"You could have a husband and wife who are separated, and one is in the property and one isn't and one is paying the mortgage and one isn't," he said.

He also said he expected there to be appeals from people who were refused a deferral of their property tax bill.

The Department of Finance has admitted that the impact of the property tax appeals on the work of the Appeals Commissioners "cannot be accurately predicted" at this stage.

The department has also said that a long-promised review of the overall tax appeals system called for by Chartered Accountants Ireland will "commence shortly".

Irish Independent

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