Renters who are not eligible to pay the property tax but mistakenly receive bills, may have the money deducted from their salaries or welfare payments at source, unless they provide documentation to Revenue to show they are not the owners.
Michael Noonan, the finance minister, has expressed concern that some tenants were being advised or encouraged to ignore property tax bills, rather than inform Revenue who the property owner is.
“I consider this to be irresponsible advice,” he said. “As long as Revenue continues to connect an individual with a particular property, he or she will be pursued for payment.
“Against a background of non-engagement, or engagement which is simply too late, mandatory deduction at source will inevitably take place in some cases where the person is not liable for the Local Property Tax (LPT).”
In most cases, renters have received bills because their landlords have not registered with the Private Residential Tenancy Board.
People have also received LPT returns that they are not eligible to pay, in cases where they paid the household charge for another person or where their address is out of date.
Unless these tenants write to Revenue to inform them they are not liable to the pay the tax — and provide supporting documentation to prove it — they will be subject to the normal “compliance campaign” Mr Noonan warned.
Today is the last day for homeowners to post LPT returns, while the deadline for paying online is May 28.
There has been a last- minute surge with almost 20,000 paying up in the past week, bringing the compliance level to 74%.
A campaign to enforce payments will come into place in mid-June with deductions taken at source from salaries and welfare payments from the start of July.
A register of properties was drawn up using information from the Revenue, Local Government Management Agency, and data from utility companies. Mr Noonan said this was cross checked to ensure it is as accurate as possible.
But while every effort has been made to correctly match properties with their owners “in a small number of cases, some individuals who are not liable persons will have received LPT returns in error”.
Mr Noonan said such people are advised “to notify Revenue in writing that they are not the liable person, who the liable person is, and to provide supporting documentation where available”.
In response to a Dáil question from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath, Mr Noonan said some people who have received LPT returns in error are already contacting Revenue “and the register is being updated accordingly”.
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