Taxpayers won't face higher property tax bills for 2021

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Aoife Barry 16/09/2020
The valuation date for local property tax has been deferred until 1 November 2021, said the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe.

THE DEFERRING OF the valuation date for Local Property Tax (LPT) until 2021 means that taxpayers won’t face higher bills for next year.

That’s according to the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, who told his government colleagues yesterday that the valuation date for Local Property Tax (LPT) is being moved from 1 November 2020 to 1 November 2021.

This decision means that taxpayers will not be faced with increased LPT bills for 2021.

The Minister will advance legislative proposals early in 2021 to implement the commitments in the Programme for Government in relation to LPT.

These commitments include:

  • Bringing forward legislation for the LPT on the basis of fairness and that most homeowners will face no increase
  • Bringing new homes, which are currently exempt from the LPT, into the taxation system
  • All money collected locally will be retained within the county. Counties with a lower LPT base will be adjusted via an annual national equalisation fund paid from the Exchequer.

Commenting on the decision, Minister Donohoe noted it took almost five months to form a Government and it has since been focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the pandemic “has introduced volatility into the residential property market”.

“I am also conscious of the need to allow sufficient time for the Revenue Commissioners to introduce the necessary changes to the LPT regime before any new valuation date,” he added.

This is why he has decided to defer the valuation date by a year to 1 November 2021. “With this new valuation date, there will be no change in LPT liabilities until 2022 at the earliest,” he said.

Donohoe is set to bring forward proposals for primary legislation to implement the Programme for Government commitments on LPT in early 2021.

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“These proposals will be designed to ensure fairness and that most homeowners will face no increase in their LPT liabilities,” he said. “They will also bring new homes, which are currently exempt from the LPT or outside of the tax, into the taxation system. I will also seek to promote the other policy objectives that I consider should underpin the tax, i.e. protecting the overall LPT yield; maintaining the tax base with a small number of exemptions and upholding the progressivity of the tax.”

Following a review of the LPT in 2015, the previous Minister for Finance proposed to Government that the revaluation date for the LPT be postponed from 1 November 2016 to 1 November 2019.

This meant that home owners continued to have their homes valued for LPT on the basis of their 1 May 2013 declared valuation – so were not faced with significant increases in their LPT in 2017 and 2018 and 2019 following on from increased property values.

Minister Donohoe initiated a further review of the LPT, and the valuation date was then deferred from 1 November 2019 to 1st November 2020.