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Revenue's property tax guidance causing 'widespread confusion'

The remarks were made by former junior minister Róisín Shortall today.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

THERE IS WIDESPREAD confusion among the public on how to provide an “honest valuation” of properties liable for the new Local Property Tax, according to former junior minister Róisín Shortall.

In a statement today, the Dublin TD called the Revenue Commissioner’s guidance “completely inadequate”.

She said the “complex statistical model” used led to “some very crude results” where many homes have not been accurately valued. She noted “significant inconsistencies between similar houses on the same street”.

The government and the tax collector had admitted that there would be teething problems, anticipating letters sent in error and conceding its estimates may not be 100 per cent accurate.

Shortall criticised the the online nature of the guidance, stating that those who don’t or can’t use the Internet will not receive instructions. She also had issue with the electoral divisions and lack of reliable sources on which to base property prices.

“In one estate in my constituency sales have ranged from €100k to €200k in the values of properties sold in 2012 according to the property price register. Which band do residents pick? In addition, there is no information on bedroom size, house type or condition in the property price register data making it very difficult to compare,” she said.

The deputy advised the public not to accept the estimate given by Revenue.

“Residents should try to arrive at a sensible and honest assessment themselves through talking to their neighbours and relying where possible on the property price register. Above all, residents should not rely on locally advertised asking prices as these are often higher than the actual selling price.”

Revenue has asked homeowners to engage “reasonably and honestly” with the process. If no agreement can be reached on how much should be paid, there is an option to appeal free of charge.

This weekend, a protest against the tax will be held in Dubin’s city centre. Organisers have called on the government to find alternative money-raising measures.

Read: OAP behind anti-property tax letter: Apathetic youth leaving it to ‘grey brigade’

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