Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (215)

Anne Ferris

Question:

218 Deputy Anne Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will ensure that persons will be able to pay any future household or property charges through their local post office in order to provide them with easy options of payment and also ensure the viability of, in particular, rural post offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35468/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government)

An independently-chaired Inter-Departmental Expert Group was established to consider the structures and modalities for an equitable valuation-based property tax.

The Group has recently completed its work and submitted its report to me. The approach to the report will be considered by the Government in due course.

The household charge is on a self-assessment basis and it is a matter for an owner of a residential property on the liability date of 1 January, 2012 to determine if he/she has a liability and, if so, that person is required to declare that liability by completing the household charge declaration form and to pay the household charge by 31 March, 2012.

There is a range of options available for persons to pay the household charge. An online system www.householdcharge.ie is in place in the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to enable homeowners to pay the household charge by credit/debit card. In addition, homeowners can make payment by cheque, postal order, credit or debit card by completing the relevant payment details on the declaration form and posting it to Household Charge, PO Box 12168, Dublin 1.

A bureau is in place in the LGMA to administer the charge on a shared service/agency basis for all local authorities. In addition, all county/city councils have been requested to have arrangements in place for persons to attend their principal offices to pay the household charge. An Post has assisted in broadening the number of local outlets where the household charge declaration form is available and the form has been available outside the counter in the network of 1,152 local post offices.