Insufficient detail has been provided to enable me to comment on the specific case but the following general information is relevant. In accordance with the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended), liability for Local Property Tax (LPT) will arise where a person owns a residential property on the liability date, which was 1 May 2013 for 2013 and for subsequent years is 1 November in the preceding year. Where a liable person sells their residential property between 2 November 2013 and 31 December 2013, provided that they owned the property on 1 November 2013, they will be liable to pay LPT on that property for 2014.
The 1 November liability date has been the subject of a number of previous Parliamentary Questions. In reply to Questions Nos. 221 (49518/13) and 223 (49556/13) on 19 November 2013 I stated that having a liability date before the year commences is preferable as there is certainty about who the liable person is for the coming year, that person has a reasonable amount of time to make the necessary provisions and they have access to the widest possible range of options for paying the tax.
For a tax such as LPT to function properly, legislation must specify a liability date for the tax to have application for a particular year. Whatever date is prescribed, the question of liability when there is a change of ownership has to be managed and I expect the LPT liability is likely to be factored in during negotiations between the parties on the sale price and the closing date of a particular contract.
An individual selling a property will often be purchasing another property at around the same time. While a vendor who owns a property on 1 November 2013 is liable for the 2014 LPT on that property, if they do not purchase another property before 1 November 2013 they will not be liable for the 2014 LPT on that "replacement" property - whoever is the owner as of 1 November 2013 will be liable.
Detailed guidance on LPT issues arising in the context of the sale or transfer of a residential property was prepared by the Revenue Commissioners in consultation with the Law Society and is available since last August on the Revenue website at http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/lpt/sale-transfer-property.html and on the Law Society’s website.