The arguments against paying the household charge are convincing. People who bought or built property during the last 5 – 10 years have already paid thousands in stamp duty and financial contributions to the Government and local authorities. Another tax on top of all of the tax increases and State cutbacks appears to be the final straw. In addition, some would argue the introduction of a new type of tax is a road from which there is no return – if an annual property tax is accepted by the Irish people it will be here to stay with inevitable increases on the horizon.
So if the vast majority are choosing not to pay, what penalties are set out for non-payment of this tax?
Under current legislation, an owner of a residential property who doesn’t pay the Household Charge will incur late payment fees and late payment interest.
The late payment fee is as follows:
■ not later than 6 months after the due date, is 10% of the amount outstanding;
■ later than 6 months and not later than 12 months after the due date, is 20 % of the amount outstanding;
■later than 12 months after the due date, is 30 % of the amount outstanding.
So, for example, if you don’t pay the household charge until January 2013 you’ll incur a late payment fee of €20. You’ll also incur late payment interest of 1% per month. In total if you don’t pay the household charge until January 2013 you’d incur a total penalty of €30.
Will these relatively minor penalties be enough to encourage the majority of house owners to pay the charge by the deadline? Probably not. It seems many people will let the March 31st deadline pass without paying the charge.
It remains to be seen whether the Government will back down or insist on collecting payment from a people that are intent on sending a clear message to the politicians of Ireland.
Taylor Solicitors Cork
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Taylor Solicitors is a Cork-based legal firm led by Eleanora Taylor offering specialist advice in business and property law.