Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ryan Review

Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

The Property tax register has probably done more to combat tax evasion than any other single measure. It comes as Revenue gears up to launch its new REAP system (Risk Evaluation Analysis and Profiling) to catch out non-compliant taxpayers from January. It will also be allowed 'engage' with other service providers like electricity and water companies to establish property holdings.

There's no doubt that the tax has focused the mind on 'accidental' landlords -- who inherited family properties or moved out because they couldn't afford the mortgage, not to mention the dodgy ones, who own strings of apartments which haven't been disclosed.

If you're either type, you'd be well advised to get your spoke in first before Revenue finds you. Apart from the Property Tax, and the previous Household Charge, not registering a house with the Private Residential Tenancy Board is an offence.

It costs €90 but jumps to €180 if you fail to do so within a month of renting out the property. Registering also has the benefit of allowing a tax write-off for mortgage payments (75pc), maintenance and the fee itself.

Irrespective of whether you make a profit or are propping up the investment property mortgage with your own money, you must return a tax form each year in respect of any income. If you're not liable for tax, you won't have to pay it, but failing to make the return can cause fines down the line.

If the carrot approach hasn't worked then the 'stick' in the Local Property Tax legislation is making the tenant play policeman. A property which isn't disclosed will have its tax demanded from the tenant -- who will undoubtedly be quick to point out that it's not theirs.

Any recalcitrant landlord can expect a swift follow-up once the computers start talking to each other.

Irish Independent

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