While no specific exemption from local property tax for individuals in the Health Service Executive Fair Deal Scheme is provided in either the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 or the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 the legislation does provide for a number of exemptions from the Local Property Tax (LPT) as well as for the possibility of deferring the charge in certain cases of inability to pay.
I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the exemption which seems to be most relevant to the Deputy’s question would appear to be section 5 of the 2012 Act under which an exemption may be obtained where a property that was previously occupied by a person as his or her sole or main residence has been vacated by the person for 12 months or more due to long term mental or physical infirmity. An exemption may also apply where the period is less than 12 months, if a doctor is satisfied that the person is unlikely at any stage to return to the property. In both cases, the exemption applies only where the property is not occupied by any other person. I am also advised by the Commissioners that where a property is owned by more than one person, the owners are jointly and severally liable for the payment of the tax. Accordingly, this exemption under section 5 of the Act would not apply if the property in question was jointly owned with others.
Details of the existing exemptions and options for deferral 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.