Local Property Tax

It would seem that the confusion regarding Local Property Tax continues. The liability date for Local Property Tax for 2014 is the 1st of November 2013. Therefore if you (or a client) owns property on the 1st of November 2013 then you will be liable to pay the Local Property Tax on it in 2014. If you (or the client) is selling the property you will have to pay your Local Property Tax for 2014 before you complete. In the normal course this would be dealt with by way of a condition in the Sales Contract seeking to make the Purchaser liable to reimburse the Vendor for the tax you or the client has discharged for the property for that period of time which they will occupy it in the relevant period.

However, it would seem that Revenue do not wish matters to be that simple and straight forward.   They have issued a clarification regarding how sales happening between the 1st of January and the 31st of December 2013 should deal with the issue.   What it says is that an exemption that was previously thought to apply only to first time buyers has now been extended to all buyers of property that they will occupy as their principal private residence.   In effect, anyone who buys a new house as their principal private residence between now and the 31st of December 2013 will be exempt from Local Property Tax for 2014, 2015 and 2016.  

However, it appears that the Vendor will still have to pay the tax for 2014 if he or she owned the property on the 1st of November 2013 and, if he or she does not obtain a reimbursement from the Purchaser.   Revenue will not issue a refund subsequently, notwithstanding the fact that the property will in fact be exempt for the period in question.

This will only apply in cases of house purchases completed on or before the 31st of December 2013.