Ireland: Pay property charge or tax rebates will be withheld
03 September 2013
Posted by: Author: Charlie Weston
Author: Charlie Weston
HOMEOWNERS who fail to pay their property tax will be denied refunds on other taxes as the Revenue gets tough.
Some workers who are owed up to €3,500 have already been told they will not get a cent until they fill out forms and register for the property tax.
The withholding of refunds is one of the sanctions granted to the Revenue Commissioners under the legislation underpinning the new regime.
Tax refunds are generally granted for overpayment of tax, or claims for a portion of money spent on items including medical expenses or third-level fees. Workers can go back four years to claim refunds.
But tax expert Christine Keily of the Taxback Group said the authorities were now getting tough with those who had failed to file a property return, and officials will not issue refunds to them.
"Since the start of August we have received several advice letters from the Revenue to taxpayers informing them of the amount of income tax or PAYE refund that they are due – and then advising them that they won't see a penny of it until they complete their LPT (local property tax) return," she said.
Ms Keily said there had been a surge in the number of people contacting her firm who have been told they will not get an income tax and PAYE refund until they file a property tax return.
"In a typical case, a client of ours is due a refund of €3,437.89 – but Revenue will not pay due to 'outstanding returns'," she said.
"We have seen dozens of these letters since August 1 and expect to see quite a few more."
Many of those affected will have to pay a property tax of between €200 and €300 this year once they register.
Half of a full year's tax is being imposed this year, meaning property tax bills will double next year.
A spokeswoman for the Revenue said it will eventually issue refunds to those who have yet to register for the property tax, but it will first deduct the tax due from the refund amount.
"In general, in advance of issuing a refund, a taxpayer's record will be reviewed to ensure no outstanding liability exists," she said. "Where a liability exists, an offset will be made before the refund will be issued."
Nine out of 10 householders have complied with the new tax, with €175m already paid.
The Revenue said penalties will not be imposed automatically – officials will try to engage the taxpayer first.
But the spokeswoman warned: "If you don't send your completed return, the penalty is the amount of tax due, subject to a maximum of €3,000.
"If you knowingly undervalue your property on the local property tax return, the penalty is the correct amount of tax, subject to a maximum of €3,000."
The Revenue has already started deducting property tax amounts from the wages, pensions and social welfare payments of those who are refusing to register for the tax and pay it.