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Budget 2013 Local Property Tax (LPT)

Local Property Tax (LPT)

The Local Property Tax (LPT) will come into effect from 1 July 2013 with a half year charge applying for 2013. The LPT will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners.

The main features of the Local Property Tax are as follows:

  1. Liable Persons
    • Owners of residential properties, including rental properties, will be legally responsible (“liable persons”) for payment of the tax.
    • The liability will rest with the tenant in the case of long leases (over 20 years) or life tenancies.
    • Co-owners will be jointly and severally liable for the tax.
    • During March 2013, information will be sent by the Revenue Commissioners to liablepersons advising them of their obligations in relation to the LPT and how to comply.
  2. Assessment System
    • The Local Property Tax will operate through a system of self-assessment and self- declaration by liable persons.
    • The Revenue Commissioners will have responsibility for all administration, collection, enforcement and audit aspects of LPT.
    • Normal Revenue enforcement and collection procedures will apply to the LPT.
  3. Basis of Assessment
  • The market value of residential properties will be the basis of assessment for the tax.
  • There will be a system of market value taxable bands (see Table 1, page B25):
  • The initial band covers €0-€100,000.
  • Then bands of €50,000 width up to €1,000,000 in value thereafter.
  • The tax liability will be calculated by applying the tax rate to the mid-point of the band.
  • Houses valued over €1m will be chargeable to LPT on their market value, with no banding applied.

4. Valuing Property

  • Liable persons will self-assess the market value of their property.
  • Where Revenue guidance about valuing a property is followed, property valuations will not be challenged by the Revenue Commissioners.
  • The initial valuation is valid up to and including the year 2016.

5. Rates

  • For the first 18 months (up to 31 December 2014) the national central tax rate will be 0.18% up to €1 million and 0.25% on excess value over €1 million.
  • From 1 January 2015 local authorities will have discretion to vary the LPT rates by +/- 15% of the national central rate.
  • The national central rate will not be increased for the lifetime of the Government.

6. Payment Methods

The LPT may be paid in full by a Bank Single Debit Authority or by Debit/Credit Card. Alternatively the tax may be paid by instalment through deduction at source, direct debit or by cash payments. Liable Persons may choose from the following payment options:

  • Deduction at source from salary/occupational pension or certain payments from the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine
  • Direct Debit
  • Bank Single Debit Authority
  • Credit Card/Debit Card
  • Cash Payments through certain service providers

7. Compliance

  • The Revenue Commissioners are developing a comprehensive register of residential properties in the State. It will contain approximately 1.9 million properties.
  • During March 2013, information will be sent by the Revenue Commissioners to liable persons advising them of their obligations in relation to the LPT and how to comply.
  • In the absence of a return the Revenue Commissioners will pursue collection of an estimated amount of LPT, which will have been notified to the taxpayer.
  • In the absence of a return or an election by the taxpayer for a particular method of payment, as far as possible, deduction at source will be the default means of collection.
  • In the case of the self-employed, the Revenue Commissioners will not issue a tax clearance certificate where there is unpaid LPT. Late delivery of an LPT return will be linked to the filing of an income tax return, thus exposing a self-employed taxpayer to the penalty of an income tax surcharge.
  • Where LPT remains outstanding, a charge will attach to that property. This charge will have to be discharged on the sale/transfer of the property.

8. Exemptions

Certain properties will be exempt from assessment. These exemptions largely correspond to exemptions from the Household Charge, and include:

  • Newly constructed but unsold residential property
  • Where ownership is vested in a public body or an approved charitable body and used to provide accommodation to people with special housing needs such as the elderly or people with disabilities
  • Where a principal private residence is unoccupied by reason of long term mental or physical infirmity
  • Mobile home, vehicle or a vessel
  • Property fully subject to commercial rates
  • Houses in certain unfinished developments as prescribed by law
  • Properties enjoying protection in other legislation – diplomatic or similar propertyNew exemptions will apply in the case of:
    • New and previously unused properties that are purchased between 1 January 2013 and the end of 2016 will be exempt until the end of 2016
    • Second-hand property purchased by a first time buyer between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013 will be exempt until the end of 2016However, local authority housing and social housing will not be exempt unless it is provided to people with special housing needs such as the elderly or people with disabilities. Liability will rest with the local authority or social housing organisation as owner.

9. Deferrals 

A system of voluntary deferral arrangements for owner-occupiers will be implemented to address cases where there is an inability to pay the LPT under specified conditions:

  • Where the gross income does not exceed €15,000 (single) and €25,000 (couple)
  • For income stressed owner-occupiers who have an outstanding mortgage, an adjusted gross income limit will apply – where gross income less 80% of mortgage interest falls below €15,000/€25,000 a deferral option will be available up to the end of 2017 (when mortgage interest relief also ends).
  • Marginal relief will apply for owner-occupiers where the income or adjusted income is €10,000 above the income limit (€15,000/€25,000) to permit deferrals of up to 50% of LPT liability.
  • Interest will be charged on deferred amounts but at a lower rate (i.e. 4% per annum) than the rate charged in default cases (i.e. 8% per annum). The deferred amount, including interest, will be a charge on the property. Deferred property taxes and interest will have to be discharged on the sale/transfer of the property.

10. Local Authority Funding

  • Revenue from the LPT will support the provision of local services.
  • Internationally, local services are administered by local authorities and financed bylocal service charges.
  • In Ireland, local authorities are responsible for, among other services, public parks; libraries; open spaces and leisure amenities; planning and development; fire and emergency services; maintenance and cleaning of streets; and street lighting. These facilities benefit everyone.

11. Household Charge/Non-Principal Private Residence (NPPR) Charge

  1. The arrears of the Household Charge for 2012 will be capped at €130 if paid to the Local Government Management Agency before 30 April 2013.
  2. From 1 May to 30 June 2013 normal Household Charge collection, late payment fee and interest procedures will apply. The cap of €130 will no longer be available.
  3. From 1 July 2013, any outstanding Household Charge will be increased to €200 and added to the Local Property Tax due on the property. In effect, the arrears of the Household Charge will be converted into LPT and collected through the LPT system. The Revenue Commissioners will pursue this additional liability when the LPT system is fully operational. Interest and penalties under the LPT system will apply to the additional €200.
  • The annual NPPR charge will apply for 2013 and the NPPR will be abolished thereafter.
  • Similar provisions as for arrears of the Household Charge will be put in place for the collection of any arrears of NPPR.
12. Communication
The Revenue Commissioners will engage in a comprehensive public communications campaign throughout the first half of 2013 involving the publication of comprehensive guidelines on the operation of the LPT, valuation procedures and payments methods.
13. Key Dates

December Budget Announcement; Bill published and debated in Oireachtas.

If passed:


March Revenue Commissioners will issue return forms and a detailed explanatory booklet to Liable Persons.

1 May Property Valuation Date – value valid up to and including 2016

7 May LPT Return Forms due to Revenue

28 May LPT Return Forms due if filing electronically

From 1 July Phased payments such as direct debit or deduction at source payments commence (From 1 January in subsequent years)

15 July First Direct Debit Payment date
21 July Bank Single Debit Authority Payments deducted


14. Estimated Yield 

The yield from the LPT is estimated to be €250 million in 2013 (half year charge) and €500 million in a full year. No one methodology is used. Instead, the yield is a blended average of three approaches:

  • An approach based on the data used in the report of the taskforce chaired by Dr. Don Thornhill updated to include regional variation in property prices;
  • A similar approach based on data from the property price register; and:
  • An approach based on the ESRI tax-benefit model ‘SWITCH’.The estimation approach in the Thornhill report was used to illustrate indicative yields only using unpublished CSO data based on mortgage transactions and the CSO’s property price index. In making the Budget forecast this was updated to include regional valuation in house prices and stock using data for county level housing stock, and regional variation in values from the CSO property price index. This results in a higher yield because of the higher weighting of higher value properties in counties with larger volumes of properties.In Autumn 2012, a national register of property values was published for the first time based on actual transactions in the years 2010-2012. The register is updated on an on-going basis. The distribution from the register results in a higher incidence of higher value properties. Using the same indicative rates, an analysis based entirely on the register would result in a much higher yield compared with the method above. However, caution has been applied to this approach given the low number of transactions, the high percentage of non-mortgage (i.e. cash transactions) and the possible bias in recent transactions towards transactions of higher quality housing stock which may not represent the generality of housing valuations in the State.
  • A final method of estimation is based on the ESRI tax-benefit model SWITCH. In the SWITCH model, data on house prices come from the self-assessed value provided by the respondents to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in 2010 with these values indexed to adjust to 2012 prices.
  • The SILC data are based on a sample of all private households, giving it the potential to provide a broader picture than one based on transactions or mortgages. The SWITCH model produces an estimate lower than the first method.
  • However, the sample size in SWITCH is based on survey data and is smaller than the other two methods. In addition, SWITCH allows a maximum of ten value bands compared to twenty bands that are part of the LPT. Outputs from SWITCH may therefore under-estimate the impact of higher value properties. The overall yield is a blended average of the approaches described above.

Table 1

Household Charge/Local Property Tax Charge – Changes from 2012 to 2014 for property values up to €1 m*


*It is estimated that 85% to 90% of properties will fall within the first five bands.
**Properties valued over €1m will be assessed at the actual value (no banding will apply) at 0.18% on the first €1m in value and 0.25% on the portion of the value above €1m