Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Department of Finance
Property Taxation Exemptions
136. To ask the Minister for Finance the way liability and qualification for deferral of the local property tax determined in a case where two siblings jointly own a home, but both individuals income are below the threshold to allow for deferral of the tax, but jointly would be over the threshold; if siblings are jointly assessed in this case or just one liable individual; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21205/13]
Local Property Tax (LPT) is a self-assessed tax and it is a matter for a property owner to calculate the amount of LPT due based on his or her assessment of the market value of the property. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the amount of LPT due is determined by reference to the valuation band based on the market value of the property. As the siblings are joint owners of the property, they are jointly and severally liable for the LPT. However, in cases of joint ownership, only one of the owners is designated by the Revenue Commissioners for the purposes of submitting the LPT return form and paying the tax. 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. Owners may qualify to defer all or part (50%) of their LPT liability.
In the context of the Deputy's question, where the joint owners are siblings, one owner will be the designated owner for filing and payment purposes. It is only the gross income of the designated owner, provided he or she is an owner-occupier, that is taken into account to determine if the deferral conditions are met, i.e. there is no aggregation of the gross incomes of all of the joint owners. In this case, as both incomes are below the individual threshold the designated owner will qualify for a deferral. To determine whether deferral applies for 2013, the designated owner is required to estimate on 1 May 2013 what his or her total gross income for 2013 will be. Where a deferral is being claimed on the basis of income threshold, the LPT Return must be completed and the relevant deferral condition selected.
On 25 April I provided details on the option of deferring payment of LPT based on income threshold in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 69 on 25 April (19691/13). 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 .