Thursday 26 April 2018

Sinead Ryan: We have barely finished paying this year’s property tax – but here they come again

Sinead Ryan
Sinead Ryan

WITH Christmas just around the corner, (well it is when you’re an already hard-pressed family saving hard for it), the last thing you need is an unexpected tax bill. While we all know that the dreaded Local Property Tax needs to be paid in 2014 – sure haven’t we barely finished paying for the last one, the shock is that it might be swiped out from your bank account as early as next week.

Depending on how you choose to pay, those families who are juggling household bills routinely, often have no option but to pay some of them by credit card.  If the property tax is one, then it will be put on your bill before you’ve even done your Christmas shopping. 

Anyone who wasn’t paying by deduction for the 2013 LPT (e.g. salary, pension etc), decided to pay in one go by cash, debit or credit card.  46pc of people opted for this, a surprisingly high number given the backlash against this most hated of taxes.  Of course, it was only a half bill in 2013, so perhaps they thought they’d get it out of the way so as not to have a monthly reminder on their payslip.

For 2014 however, it’s the full Monty.  And those who choose to pay in one go again, will find a less than festive shocker if they return the forms and opt for a debit or credit card deduction. 

Hundreds of euro will be removed from their bank account, or added to their Visa bill with immediate effect – no waiting until the New Year for them.

That’s because, like any credit/debit card purchase you make, it happens when you hand over your card details.  A far better option is to opt for a Single Debit Authority (yes, yes the language is horrendous but that’s Revenue for you), which means you’ll still pay in one go, but not until 21 March. 

Quite why anyone would want to give the tax man their money earlier than necessary is beyond me, but it could happen by accident if householders aren’t careful.  A Single Debit Authority is an entirely different animal to a Debit Card Deduction. 

Unfortunately, Revenue has only given everyone making a paper return until 7 November to work this out, and 27 November for the internet lot.

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