Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (179)

Michael McGrath

Question:

179. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the reason he is proposing in the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 that the exemption for certain incapacitated persons would be framed so narrowly and would exclude, for example, persons who are disabled for other reasons, for example, congenital defects, many of whom need similar adaptations to their homes to accommodate wheelchairs, showering and other necessary equipment in order to live with any reasonable degree of independence. [9557/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Under the proposed new amendment in the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013, a residential property that is purchased or adapted for use as a sole or main residence by an incapacitated individual where an award has been made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or a court or where a trust has been established specifically for the benefit of permanently and totally incapacitated individuals may be exempt from Local Property Tax. To be exempt from payment of Local Property Tax, a residential property must be acquired or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by an incapacitated individual. In the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption will not apply unless the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the market value of the property before completion of the adaptations. The exemption ends if the property is sold and the incapacitated individual no longer occupies it as his or her sole or main residence. The new Bill also includes provision for relief by way of a reduction in the chargeable value of a relevant residential property that has been adapted for occupation by a disabled person where the adaptation has been grant-aided by a local authority. The reduction is limited to the lesser of the chargeable value attributable to the adaptation work carried out on the property and the maximum grant payable under the relevant local authority scheme. The relief ends on the sale or transfer of a property that has been adapted, unless the person with the disability continues to reside in the property.

Therefore, in cases where an exemption does not apply, relief may be available by way of reduction of the chargeable value of the residential property.