Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (168, 170)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

168. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance if a house that has been repaired of pyrite will be liable for the property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10135/13]

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Terence Flanagan

Question:

170. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance if building work is completed on a property, for example an extension or conservatory, will it increase the amount of property tax owed on the property; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10291/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 and 170 together.

The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 sets out how the tax is to be administered, how a residential property is to be valued for Local Property Tax (LPT) purposes and provides for a number of specific exemptions from the charge. The recently published Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 provides for additional exemptions, including an exemption for residential properties that have been certified as having significant pyritic damage. However, this exemption does not apply if the pyritic damage has already been repaired.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that Local Property Tax (LPT) is a self-assessed tax so in the first instance it is a matter for the property owner to calculate the tax due based on his or her assessment of the market value of the property. The Revenue Commissioners are preparing valuation guidance which, taken together with the owner’s own knowledge of the property, will assist him or her in assessing its value. The guidance will include an on-line guide that will provide indicative property valuation bands depending on the property type, age and location and it will be available on the Revenue website prior to the issue of Returns to property owners. The guidance will also draw property owners’ attention to the publicly available property price register produced by the Property Services Regulatory Authority which provides an actual sales price for all properties sold since January 2010.

When using Revenue’s valuation guidelines, the property owner should consider the specifics of his or her own property, for example, if the property has certain features such as a conservatory or is larger than the average property in the area, and these factors should be taken into account in the owner’s assessment of the valuation of the property. As I have previously advised the House, where the Revenue guidance is used in an honest manner, the property valuation made by a property owner will not be challenged by Revenue in accordance with its normal Customer Service Charter.

I am further advised by the Commissioners that the initial valuation of a property on 1 May 2013 will be valid up to and including 2016 and will not be affected by any improvements made to the property during this period. From the information provided by the Deputy it is unclear whether the building work will be completed prior to 1 May 2013. Where this is the case, the property owner should take this into account in assessing the value of the property. Any improvements or enhancements made to the property after the 1 May 2013 will only affect the valuation of the property on the next valuation date, which will be 1 November 2016.