91% compliance rate for property tax

by Gazette Reporter

Fingal residents have the second highest compliance rate for the local property tax [LPT] within the four local authorities in Dublin, with 91% registering to pay.

The figures, as of July 23, show the total amount declared to pay is €18,394,884 and according to the latest figures, a total of €12,703,939 has been received.

The highest compliance rate out of the four local authorities in Dublin is Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council with 92%.

So far Revenue has revealed they have collected more than €175 million in LPT to date, with a further €60 million committed by way of phased payments.

On a working assumption of 1.96 million properties, Revenue says it is “a very successful compliance rate of 89%” or 1.74 million properties.

Anyone who hasn’t paid, and who is in employment or has an occupational pension, will receive a reminder letter from Revenue.

They then have seven days from the date of the letter to file their returns online to prevent Revenue issuing instructions to their employer to deduct the LPT estimate from their wages or occupational pension.

Self–employed property owners who have not complied with their LPT obligations will not qualify for a tax clearance cert.

Responding to the figures, local councillor Eugene Coppinger (SP) has said he is “disappointed” with the high compliance rates in Fingal.

“I had hoped the boycott of the tax would have been stronger. Obviously the Government sees this as a success now, but I think there will be a problem in January when people have 12 months to pay and they won’t have the money,” he said.

Recent media reports have claimed the LPT was not a tax for local services, but was going to the central Exchequer to pay bondholder debt, as revealed in a recent parliamentary question.

“People are starting to realise that the money isn’t going to local services, which is going to be a huge issue,” Cllr Coppinger continued. “We’ve been saying all along that the money will be used to pay back bank interest and bond holders etc, and that it’s not going to local services, and that is the case.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said that this year, revenue from LPT will accrue to the Exchequer as a “transitional measure” because the LPT was introduced from July 1, 2013.

“To provide this certainty and to ensure that each local authority has the funds available to provide the local services in their area, the Exchequer has already paid into the local government fund in 2013 to pay for local services,” the Department explained.

“There will be no shortfall in the LGF in 2013 as its allocation was decided upon at the start of the year.”

Income from the LPT will be paid to the local government fund in 2014, with 80% of the LPT retained in the local authority area it is raised and used to fund services from January 1 2014.

Cllr Anne Devitt (Ind) said she is “delighted” that people are paying what she believes is a “fair tax”.

“Some people can avoid other taxes, such as the income tax, but everyone has to pay this,” she said.

While he doesn’t agree with the tax itself, Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) has said Fingal’s high compliance rate means that less people will suffer the “unnecessary penalties” that may result from non-compliance.

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