Things haven't exactly been running smoothly with the new Local Property Tax (LPT), with many people still confused over what they should be paying and when; how much their house is worth exactly, and what tax band they are in. Luckily, The Irish Tax Institute and the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland have launched comprehensive guide to the LPT to try and clarify everything. The guide includes helpful details on how the tax is calculated, who is liable, when it must be paid and how, how to accurately calculate how much your house is worth so you're not charged too much tax and what to do if you're sent a property tax letter for the property you rent (FYI, your landlord should've gotten the letter). The guide explains that the tax is based on the 'chargeable value of the property', which is basically a reflection of the market value of the property.
Any kind of restrictions which may reduce the value of the property, such as restricted access or where the property is owned by one person but rented by another, are not taken into account when the value of the house is being calculated. While Revenue continues to reiterate that the property tax is a self-assessed tax, it should still be noted that they will go ahead and charge a default amount in respect of your LPT liability if you fail to provide them with a valuation. It goes on to enumerate the characteristics which may markedly alter the valuation of your house, such as:
- Distance from local amenities
- Size, layout and general condition of the property
- Property decor
- Parking availability
- Annual service charges
- Aspect of garden
- Proximity to eyesores
Most people should be able to value their own property based on the guidelines on the Revenue website but people are free to enlist the services of a professional auctioneer for a more accurate evaluation if they so wish. Be careful though; the value you put on your house this year will be the basis for how much you're charged next year… and the year after that… and the year after that too. The filing deadline for paper returns is May 7th, or May 28th if you file online, and the tax is due to be paid (or automatically deducted in some cases) beginning in July. For more information on the property tax, check out our property tax webpage here.