herald

Friday 21 November 2014

Revenue will tell you rate of house tax

REVENUE officials evaluating the property tax are to send personal letters to homeowners with suggested valuations of their properties.

The move is being introduced to avoid a situation where individuals deliberately undervalue their home to save on property tax bills.

Every homeowner will be told how much the taxman believes their house is worth and how much is due in property tax.

The Revenue Commissioners are writing to homeowners across the country ahead of the introduction of the tax, which is being introduced in July.

Homeowners will still have the right to self-assess their own home value -- but if this differs from the Revenue suggestion they could be subjected to additional checks and inspections.

In most cases, the amount of the new payment will be calculated by self-assessment, and the letters will provide advice for people on how to value their homes and how to calculate how much tax they owe.

However, people who do not pay the tax on that basis will face a bill based on what Revenue thinks their home is worth.

If the Revenue's valuation is used by a homeowner, they will not be challenged in future.

Records

Officials are currently putting together an extensive database of every home in the country to provide the estimated value of each property.

Revenue is also looking through "third-party details" like stamp duty records, electricity bills, rental details and records from the controversial €100 household charge to figure out the size and value of every home.

Meanwhile, employers group IBEC want the Government to push up the cost of the new property tax to ease the burden on business.

IBEC is urging the Government to introduce an average rate of €800 per household, per annum.

This would come in as almost twice the level proposed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Ibec claims that the new tax, which comes into effect in July, "provides the opportunity to lessen the burden on business".

This level is necessary in order to preserve business viability and protect jobs.

IBEC said in a submission to an inter-departmental group there was an urgent need to balance out the share of local authority revenue contributed by business.

Dubliners face an average rate of €405 while those outside the capital will pay an average of €249.

READ DAN WHITE, P14

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