The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 sets out how the tax is to be administered and how a residential property is to be valued for Local Property Tax (LPT) purposes. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that 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. As property values are organised into valuation bands for the purposes of LPT, property owners will not be required to provide a precise value for their property. The Revenue Commissioners have prepared 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 includes an on-line guide that provides indicative property valuation bands depending on the property type, age and location. I am advised by the Commissioners that this on-line guidance will shortly be available on the Revenue website.
The guidance also draws 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. Owners are also encouraged to refer to other sources of information relating to local properties such as the property section of local newspapers, information from local estate agents and property websites. Alternatively, owners may choose to obtain a valuation from a competent professional valuer. If property owners have purchased their property or obtained a professional valuation in recent years, they may use this valuation and adjust for any change in property values in their area since the date of this valuation.
When using Revenue’s valuation guidance, the property owner should consider the specifics of his or her own property – for example, if the property has certain unique features, is smaller or larger than the average property in the area, or is in a significantly poor state of repair – and these factors should be taken into account in the owner’s assessment of the valuation of the property. If the property owner feels that the guidance is not indicating a reasonable valuation, they should make their own assessment. 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 and, consequently, additional charges will not be applied.
Finally, I am 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, or any increase in property prices, during this period.