Over 500,000 have still not paid property tax

More than 500,000 householders have still not settled their property tax returns, despite the looming deadline tomorrow.

The Revenue Commissioners had received 1.1m completed payments from a total of 1.66m residential property owners by last Friday evening, leaving 560,000 tax bills still unpaid.

Revenue chiefs have warned that people who fail to respond to tax notices by tomorrow’s cut-off point will have the amount set out in estimates sent to their homes collected by other measures, such as mandatory deduction from their salaries.

But Revenue bosses have extended the opening hours of their Local Property Tax (LPT) helpline from 8am to 10pm tomorrow to enable people to get assistance in completing their returns.

Up to 30,000 returns have been filed every day — a figure which Revenue chiefs say is “in keeping with normal trends”.

But the new tax has been mired in controversy from the outset, as bungling tax chiefs admitted to a number of errors in their records which were passed on to householders.

Variations in the valuation of homes for the contentious tax have also been heavily criticised. Amounts have differed by as much as four bands depending on which assessment is used, leaving householders even more baffled about how to decide what their home is worth.

In other reported cases, different property tax valuations have been sent to two co-owners of the same house.

Revenue spokeswoman Maresa Hempenstall said: “Because there was no existing complete property register, there were some errors in our records and a very small minority of individuals received a letter in error.

“This occurred, for example, when a son or daughter paid the household charge on behalf of a parent and the household charge system connected the property to the payer rather than the owner.”

She added: “If you want to have LPT deducted at source in equal payments from your salary, occupational pension, or Department of Social Protection payment, it is most important that you file your return on time before May 28.”

* www.revenue.ie. LPT helpline: 1890 200 255.

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