Revenue to inspect homes for property tax compliance

Tax officials will be able to get warrants to inspect homes if they believe the owner is trying to avoid paying the property tax.

It is just one of many powers Revenue will be able to draw on to ensure everyone liable pays.

PAYE workers who fail to pay will be tracked through their work payroll, while those who are self-employed could find it impossible to continue in business if they do not comply.

Defaulters could also face interest payments that will accumulate daily at the equivalent of 8% per year, a penalty of up to €3,000, and a 10% surcharge on income or corporation tax.

Payment may be pursued through attachment of bank accounts and deductions from state payments.

Evaders may also be tracked through power or phone providers, the HSE, or the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

Cora O’Brien, policy director with the Irish Tax Institute, said Revenue would be likely to hold fire initially, placing more emphasis on getting people to pay.

“They have a lot of power available to them, but how they treat that is going to evolve depending on what sectors of people have not filed,” she said.

Next Monday, Revenue will begin sending letters to about 1.6m households. The first payments will be demanded in May.

An online property valuation guide will be launched today.

The Government is aiming to raise €250m from the tax this year.

Josephine Feehily, chairwoman of the Revenue Commissioners, said she was confident of a 97% compliance rate.

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