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Revenue warns property owners to pay up or face enforcement action

Revenue authorities across the world have always been stringent when it comes to collecting taxes. But, property taxes have been an area where some homeowners have attempted to cheat the system by not paying their dues. Now, the situation has taken a turn as recent reports have highlighted the Revenue’s crackdown on property tax evaders. In a major development, 150,000 property owners have received warning letters, making it clear that tax evasion will no longer be tolerated. In this article, we will discuss the stern measures taken by Revenue authorities to tackle property tax evasion, the consequences of such evasion, and its impact on the economy.

Revenue officials are cracking down on homeowners who fail to pay their property tax, warning them that they could face enforcement action. The tax authority has issued 150,000 letters to property owners who have not yet paid or set up payment methods for the tax. Property owners who fail to do so could face a range of collection and enforcement actions by Revenue, including mandatory deduction at source from salary or pension. Revenue also has the power to withhold a tax clearance certificate, apply surcharges on income tax and offset other tax refunds against local property tax arrears.

All residential property owners were required to set up their 2023 payment method by January 10 at the latest. Revenue’s LPT section head Katie Clair said: “However, some property owners haven’t yet paid or set up a payment arrangement and they now leave themselves open to collection and enforcement action by Revenue.” In the first three months of this year, €314m of the tax was collected. The current payment compliance rate of 90% shows that the vast majority of property owners have met their payment obligations. Payment arrangements for 2023 LPT liabilities are in place on over 1.7 million properties, including 350,000 annual debit instructions debited on March 21 last.

Despite Revenue’s extensive powers to force compliance, large numbers of property owners continue to defy the tax collection agency. Revenue has issued 150,000 letters to property owners who have not yet paid or set up payment methods to pay or make arrangements to pay. Ms Clair urged those property owners who have not made arrangements to pay their LPT to take immediate action and use the opportunity to ensure they are fully compliant with their LPT obligations. “The easiest way to set up your LPT payment method is online. You can access the LPT online portal on revenue.ie.”

Revenue recently insisted it had not made a mistake by sending threatening letters to some property owners claiming they had not paid the tax or set up payment arrangements, despite some of those receiving the letters insisting they had done so. The homeowners say they have direct debits set up to pay the annual charge.

The latest LPT statistics from Revenue show that 54% of homes in the State have been valued at under €262,500 for property tax purposes. About 360,000 homeowners say their properties are worth less than the putative value put on them by tax officers. The rules were changed for LPT last year, requiring a new valuation for homes, the first such request to revalue since 2013. New homes that had been exempt from the tax where liable for LPT following the changes. Property owners were required to determine the market value of their property as at last November 1, 2021.

Revenue said that if property owners need assistance in completing their LPT Return or have any queries regarding their LPT obligations, they can contact the LPT Helpline at 01 738 36 26.

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