Property tax estimates to be sent to homeowners by March

Home owners across Galway city and county will receive letters in March telling them how much their home is worth and how much should be paid under the property tax.

The letters will be sent by the Revenue and will give homeowners the ‘indicative value’ the Revenue puts on their home. Owners will still be able to self-assess but many fear they face the prospect of checks, inspections, and challenges from the Revenue.

If the Revenue’s valuation is used by a homeowner, s/he will not be challenged in future. This also goes for those who hire a valuer, at their own expense, to assess the price of their home.

The Revenue is compiling a database of every home in the country to provide the estimated value of each property. The information is being drawn from stamp duty records, electricity bills, rental details, and records from the controversial €100 household charge.

The property tax will be levied at a rate of 0.18 per cent of house value, with a higher rate of 0.25 per cent on the value of a house over €1 million. There will be up to 19 different valuation bands, starting at under €100,000 and increasing in €50,000 tranches.

Included in the Revenue’s letter in March will be guidelines on how to value your house. Those posting their returns have been given a deadline of May 7, with a deadline of May 28 set for online returns.

The average household charge will vary from area to area across the State, but it is believed that in Dublin an average property tax would be in the region of €405 while a rural home could be about €249.

The property tax comes into effect from July 1. Any first-time buyers who purchase a house before the end of the year are entitled to a waiver from property tax until 2016.

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