herald

Friday 20 April 2018

Revenue warns of clampdown on property tax

Michael Noonan. Photo: Reuters
Michael Noonan. Photo: Reuters

THE taxman is determined to chase down anybody who has played down the value of their house.

They are to be targeted in a New Year clampdown by the revenue authorities.

Those who deliberately undervalued their house for the property tax will be targeted by the Revenue Commissioners next year

This has come about even though income from the tax is higher than expected with the amount of evasion and deferrals less than expected.

The overall amount earned from the first 18 months of the controversial tax is expected to be a whopping €100m more than budgeted. But with government coffers starved of cash the authorities are determined to get every last possible euro from a cash-strapped electorate.

The deadline for payment ends on Wednesday.

One of the reasons why income from the tax is higher that forecast is that surprisingly some homeowners are valuing their property in excess of revenue estimates.

There has also been a surprisingly low level of deferrals with only 18,000 people – or just over 1pc of householders saying they can't pay.

 

FACTORS

"The estimate originally was a little bit conservative. You do that with a new tax. The yield is slightly higher than estimated," a senior government source said.

"It's based on an average house price. Some people went with a higher band than was suggested in the letter. There are also slightly more houses in the mix.

"You have far lower levels of deferrals than predicted. It was thought there would be eight to 10pc deferrals.

"Older people never want a debt hanging over them. People like the idea of paying their taxes.

"It's probably a combination of all these factors. There's the estimate versus the self-assessment. You don't know what influences the decision. Revenue would have said their figure was only for guidance. People have a value of their own home. Some people overvalued and some undervalued," another source said.

hnews@herald.ie

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