Second home agency nets €47m in tax

ALMOST 1,000 people own between 12 and 21 non-primary properties according to the agency which, by yesterday’s deadline, had netted almost €47 million through the €200 property tax on second homes.

Hubert Kearns, chairman of the project agency which handles the collection of the tax on behalf of the country’s local authorities, said by yesterday afternoon €102.5m had been collected, of which €64.3m was in respect of tax due in 2009 and €38.2m for this year.

One of the most surprising features of the new tax regime was the level of compliance, about 80%, for the self-declaration tax on non-principal private residence (NPPR).

“There was a very high level of compliance by people before the due date both last year and this year. Another thing that surprised us is that there is a very large number of individuals who own a sizeable number of properties.

“There are 99,000 people with one property, but there are 35,000 people who have between two and 10 properties and who have paid the charge on two to 10 properties. In effect, this means of course that they own between three and 11 properties.

“And the figures go up, 970 people have between 12 and 21 properties; 230 people have between 22 and 31 properties and 100 people have between 32 and 41 properties.” Many people, he added, had properties in multiple local authority areas. He estimated that by midnight last night the tax account for this year would hold “between €45m and €47m”.

Last year, when the tax was introduced, €20m was collected in penalties and late NPPR payments. In 2009 the estimate was €40m, but €64m was collected. The tax is payable by the owner of the NPPR to the local authority in whose area the property is located.

To date, the largest slice of the tax cake, €19.2m, has gone to Dublin City Council. The next largest payout was €8.3m to Cork County Council.

The Fingal local authority received €5.3m and €4.8m was paid to Kerry County Council. Wexford County Council got €4.4m and at the bottom of the tax table was Monaghan local authority which was paid €690,000.

Mr Kearns, who is manager of Sligo County Council, said he was happy properties were not slipping through the tax net.

The project board which collects the taxes “uses local knowledge from the various local authorities and shares information, in accordance with the data protection laws, with the Private Residential Tenancies Board and with the Revenue Commissioners”.

The board can also get information from bodies like the ESB, he said. From today, a €20 monthly penalty applies to owners of a NPPR not declared yesterday.

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