Deadline looms for property tax returns

At the time of writing, less than 50% of local property tax returns are filed and time is running out if you have not already filed your return.

The filing deadline for paper returns has now expired however you can still file a return on time by either using the online filing option or alternatively by contacting Revenue on 1890200255 which will allow a taxpayer to complete their return over the phone.

The deadline for filing on time is May 28, 2013.

In most cases, where no Local Property Tax return was received by Revenue or indeed if you have mislaid your LPT return it is still possible to you to file your return online.

Indeed, when logging on to the Revenues online portal, there is a specific tab for those who have not received their LPT reminder letter from Revenue.

For some individuals who had previously registered for online filing in relation to other taxes, Revenue have not issued paper notices, but they have alternatively issued e-notifications direct to their ROS inbox.

As mentioned, in most cases it’s not actually necessary to have your Revenue paper form to hand as all of the details required to file a return are already available to a taxpayer — the advantage of having the paper LPT reminder to hand is that all of the details you need are gathered on the one form; you will have a secure pin to allow you access an already pre-completed online LPT return and the letter you will have received will also contain Revenue’s estimate of your local property tax which can be a relatively good indicator in helping you to calculate your local property tax.

The LPT tax return is due to be filed by May 28, for online filing; however, the actual payment of the tax is not due until July 21, if using the direct debit option.

Alternatively, deductions from salary and department of social protection payments are due to commence from July 1.

Interestingly, Revenue chairwoman Josephine Feehily has clarified that the LPT can be paid by cheque, even though this is not made clear on the paper returns; nor is that option available when completing the online return.

In effect, Revenue has played down the option of cheque payments given that they prefer the administratively easier approach of the direct debit option.

Similarly, the LPT guidelines also mention cash payments only in the format of instalments. Should you wish to make either cash or cheque payments, it would be worthwhile contacting revenue on their local number to make arrangements for same.

A further very welcome clarification includes confirmation that agricultural land surrounding a farmhouse need not be included in assessing the value of a property — this contrasts with non-agricultural holdings where up to one acre of surrounding lands need to be included in arriving at a valuation.

Similarly, any properties with planning issues — such as any restricted planning permissions — can be valued including an adjustment for such issues. In other words, although the valuation guideline suggest a property should be valued as if full access is available, the guidelines do not prevent a property owner from taking account of planning issues when valuing a property.

For landlords, the LPT return must be filed online using the pin they received from Revenue. Furthermore, landlords who owned their Non Principle Private Residence (NPPR) on March 31, 2013, continue to be liable for the NPPR charge of €200 for 2013, with this tax due to be paid by June 30, 2013.

The penalties for non-payment of the NPPR can quickly aggregate to hundreds and even thousands in the case of non-filing for a number of years and as a result the NPPR charge can be quite onerous in comparison to the new LPT.

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