Thursday, 30 May 2013

Questions (65)

Robert Dowds

Question:

65. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Finance if he will clarify the length of time persons, particularly pensioners, qualifying for a deferral of the local property tax on income grounds will continue to avail of the deferral, assuming their income remains constant. [26357/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

For individuals on low incomes the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, as amended, provides for a system of deferral arrangements for owner-occupiers where there is an inability to pay the tax and certain specified conditions are met. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that an owner-occupier, such as a pensioner, who meets the qualifying conditions for deferral of their 2013 Local Property Tax (LPT) charge based on their income thresholds, may continue to defer the LPT for so long as they meet the qualifying conditions. It is a condition of any deferral that, if a claimant’s circumstances change, Revenue must be notified. A change of circumstances may result in the deferral being terminated in respect of future LPT. Where a liable person ceases to meet the qualifying conditions, any LPT deferred before that person ceased to meet the conditions may continue. Interest of c. 4% per annum will apply to any amounts deferred.

Certain events such as the receipt of money by way of winnings, gifts, inheritances or capital sums of any kind will cause the tax deferred up to that point, including interest, to become immediately payable. Deferred LPT and interest will have to be discharged on the sale/transfer of the property. However, a deferral may be allowed to continue where the property passes to another person by way of a gift or inheritance and the new liable person is also eligible for a deferral. I previously provided details on the option of deferring payment of LPT based on income thresholds in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 69 of 25 April 2013 (19691). I am advised by the Commissioners that full details of all deferral options are outlined in the Guidelines on Deferral or Part Deferral of Local Property Tax, which are available on Revenue’s website www.revenue.ie.