Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (224, 226)

Tony McLoughlin


224. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance the mechanism for persons who own a house or property that was modified and grant aided by a local authority to cater for a person with a physical disability, the way this would apply to them in relation to the new property tax; and where the relevant guidelines on this will be available. [10250/13]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae


226. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence regarding property tax exemptions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10257/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 224 and 226 together.

Section 6 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 provides for a reduction in the market value of a residential property that has been adapted for occupation by a disabled person where the adaptation has been grant-aided by a local authority. In addition to the payment of the local authority grant, two other conditions must be met, to qualify for the reduction. Firstly, the person with the disability must occupy the property as his or her sole or main residence after the adaptation is completed. Secondly, the liable person in relation to the property must notify the Revenue Commissioners in writing of the amount of the chargeable value that is attributable to the adaptation along with any relevant documentation. The reduction in value 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. This chargeable value is to be used in relation to subsequent valuations of the property, unless additional grant-aided work is carried out. 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. Guidance on how to avail of this relief, together with any additional information will be available on the Revenue website, www.revenue.ie shortly.

In accordance with Section 2 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013, an exemption from the charge to LPT will apply to a residential property purchased, built or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by a permanently and totally incapacitated individual as their sole or main residence, 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 such individuals. In the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption will only apply where the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the chargeable value of the property before it is adapted. The exemption ends if the property is sold and the incapacitated individual no longer occupies it as his or her sole or main residence.

For individuals on low incomes or those whose only income source is from the Department of Social Protection, the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 and the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 provide for the possibility of deferring the charge in certain cases of inability to pay. Details of the existing deferral arrangements are available on Revenue’s website www.revenue.ie , where the Commissioners have recently published a useful Guide to Local Property Tax. This will be revised shortly to take account of the provisions of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013.

It should be noted, however, that the provisions in the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 to which I refer are subject to its enactment.