Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (500)

Dessie Ellis


500. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to expand the criteria for the writing off of commercial rates. [31525/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes, in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Act 2001. The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual local authority. As with all local charges, the invoicing and collection of due amounts is a matter for the local authority concerned to manage in the light of prevailing local circumstances and in accordance with normal accountancy procedures.

Commercial rates are legally payable in two moieties, the first moiety and arrears are payable on the date of the making of the rate, and the second moiety is payable on 1 July. In practice, most local authorities promote the use of direct debit payment facilities and work with businesses to put in place flexible payment options that reflect capacity to pay.

In accordance with the Local Authority Accounting in Ireland Code of Practice and Accounting Regulations, issued by my Department under section 107 of the Local Government Act 2001, local authorities are required to make provision for doubtful debts and to write off known uncollectable debts.