Who is liable for the “Local Property Tax”?
The owner of almost every residential property. Exemptions are similar to those under the household tax.
How will the Revenue Commissioners know who the owner is?
Revenue will use the data from the household tax and various other sources. In March they will send out a notice to all people they believe to be liable.
How much is the Property Tax?
0.18% of the value up to €1million. Homes will be divided into “market value bands” of €50,000 e.g. €150,001-€200,000. The tax due will be calculated on the mid-point of the band your home falls into.
How is the value of my home assessed?
The notice from the Revenue will contain an estimate of the value of your home. You can either accept that valuation or give your own assessment based on guidelines provided by Revenue.
What happens if I don’t return the form?
Revenue will presume their estimate of your home’s value to be correct and can proceed to deduct the tax directly from your wages/social welfare/pension/farm payments etc.
What should I do with the Revenue notice?
Do nothing, boycott the registration process and refuse to comply. If hundreds of thousands of people do likewise, it will create a political crisis for the government. This can be an important rock upon which massive political pressure and possible industrial action can be built to force the government to scrap this tax.
What are the penalties?
If you do not return the form you could be levied with a penalty equal to the value of the property tax you are liable for
I’m self-employed. Are there any implications for getting tax clearance cert?
Revenue won’t issue a tax clearance cert to anyone who doesn’t comply. Self- employed people may also incur a surcharge up to the amount of your property tax liability.
Can I defer payment?
Yes, but only if your family income falls below a certain level. The criteria for a deferral are extremely narrow. Deferred payments are subject to an interest charge of 4% per annum.
What about my unpaid household tax from last year?
Unpaid household tax will be capped at €130 if paid before 30th April. If not paid by 1st July, it will be increased to €200 and added to your property tax.
Is it a criminal offence to boycott the registration of the property tax?
No. The majority of single home owners defied legal threats and forced the government back on the household tax. Now, instead of a criminal offence, they want to take it from our wages. If we stick together, this threat can also be beaten.
The government have given the Revenue Commissioners draconian powers to collect this tax. It is only by a campaign of massive political protest that they can be beaten.
If taken to court and if found guilty, a judge has the power to impose a Class C fine to a maximum of €2,500. There is currently no law allowing this to be taken from your income or social welfare.
Any successful legal challenges will make the government re-think their strategy. But it is ultimately the power of protest that will force abolition of the tax. Mass meetings would be organised and huge community pressure put on the politicians standing over household tax prosecutions. As things develop, if we find that we are making the same legal case in all courts, it may not be necessary to have solicitors at every case. Campaign volunteers will be briefed on the legal points and will accompany those summonsed to court.