Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Finance
102. To ask the Minister for Finance if returns have been collected in the course of the recent registration for local property tax, which will provide the basis for evaluating the role of a vacant home tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62249/21]
The Government's strategy, ‘Housing For All’ states that my Department will collect data on vacancy with a view to introducing a Vacant Property Tax. The Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Act 2021 has accordingly enabled Revenue to collect certain information on vacant properties in the LPT return forms submitted by residential property owners last month in respect of the new LPT valuation period 2022-2025. This information together with information from other available sources will be used to assess the merits and impact of introducing a Vacant Property Tax.
The LPT returns are currently being analysed by Revenue and include information on the number and location of unoccupied properties, and the reasons for and duration of this, as of 1 November 2021. I look forward to receiving the results of Revenue’s analysis of this information in 2022. This analysis will be used together with other available sources of information to inform the optimum design of a Vacant Property Tax.
As I have articulated on several occasions it is the clear intention of the Government to introduce a Vacant Property Tax next year. In designing the tax it will be important to achieve an appropriate balance between placing enough pressure on vacant home owners to allow the measure to actually work as an incentive, and ensuring any such tax does not arbitrarily or excessively penalise home-owners in a discriminatory way.