I lived in my house in Dublin until 2001 when I moved abroad for my job and rented out my home. I never heard of NPPR except on radio a couple of times on visits - advertised as the 'second home' tax but since I have no second home in Ireland, I was certain it did not apply to me. I have made a tax return annually on my rental property and I also fully paid up for the recent household charge and local property tax.
Until August 2014, I received absolutely no correspondence despite being registered as a non-resident taxpayer with the Revenue. On 15 August 2014, a demand arrived in the post for 4,220 euro for NPPR prinicipal tax owed and the penalties that were accumulating silently. To say this was a shock and something I was not in a position to pay is an understatement. I corresponded with the County Council to no avail and appealed to them in writing, enclosing the full principal tax amount I owed on the house for the full years of NPPR. They returned my bank draft, demanding full payment of the penalties.
No other tax has ever had such a penalty that accumulates silently - and with no correspondence to the victim till the end?!
-Molly - Wicklow
I owned only one house, in Dublin, but live (and rent) in Malta. My letting agent notified me generally of NPPR and I registered and paid 2009’s. I then somehow understood that NPPR was to be discontinued and replaced by household charge/property tax. I can honestly say it never entered my consciousness after 2009 and I received absolutely no reminders despite being registered, and DCC having all my details, until a demand arrived in the post for payment of 2013 NPPR. I then discovered the 2010/2011 tax and penalties due. I paid all under protest (€2,240), fearing mounting penalties. I also corresponded with DCC to no avail and appealed to the Ombudsman on the basis that DCC had failed in their duty to issue reminders. (DCC told me they had no such duty). The Ombudsman’s office said they could offer no remedy as my Irish agent should have notified/reminded me.
-Anna - Dublin
I've never been so close to suicidal. I own one small house in Dublin in the north inner city. It's my home and it's my sole property. Like many others, in 2009 I moved overseas to Australia to make a better life for myself. I hate being in debt and I hate not managing my finances well. I've had a nightmare these five years dealing with bad tenants, spiralling rents, mounting debts with the banks, an unresponsive and dysfunctional bank and an ugly and protracted case with the Ombudsman, and trying to sort this from overseas. Nothing could have prepared me. I've never been so close to suicidal.
I'm not earning megabucks. I’m working for a small charity in Australia, and earning a currency that is half as strong as the Euro. I had no way of knowing about the NPPR, from Australia. I simply didn’t know – how might I have known? I had never received a single item of correspondence, by mail or by email, from my Council. With rights come responsibilities, don't they say? So, if my council has the right to apply charges, they have a responsibility to act with care and diligence. They have a responsibility to make reasonable attempts to contact someone whose fines are building up over a period of five years. I only found out by chance recently that I should have paid 5 years at 200 euros = 1,000 euros. But they're now applying 320% interest, rising to 600% interest. That's three months' salary, rising to six months’ salary, and I’ve no clue how I’ll possibly find this money. I feel as though I’m being asked to subsidise the inadequate conduct of my local council and that I’m victim to an underhand, poorly thought-through and badly implemented cynical income-generation scheme gone wrong.
I am a 58-year-old, living in the UK. I purchased a property in County Leitrim in early 2010. The intention was for it to ultimately become a retirement home. Neither the solicitor acting for me nor the estate agent acting for the seller told me anything about NPPR and i sleep walked into a 3000 Euro debt on the false - but i still believe, natural - assumption that any tax obligations that arose would arrive in the traditional manner via the letter box at the address and not in the daily newspapers.
The Irish Revenue had a problem when they thought up NPPR as only a small percentage of properties were eligible. They did not want the expense of sending letters or flyers to every house in the country so they transferred their problem on to the taxpayers and put adverts in the press. Hey presto! Loadsamoney saved! I found out about NPPR purely by chance in August 2014 and paid up, under duress. I subsequently wrote two appeal letters to Leitrim County Council (one factual, the other personal) and received a 50% rebate of the "late payment charges" (1080 Euros).
-Paul - Leitrim
I have owned property in Galway City since 2002. I live overseas in Cape Cod, Mass USA. This property in Galway is the only property I own in ROI. It has been rented since 2002 and was registered with Galway City Council(GCC) as a rental property. GCC communicated with me at my American address regarding this property. My address in the USA has remained unchanged since 1998. I pay income taxes to the Irish Government on the rental income I receive in ROI. I have been fully tax compliant and regularly receive correspondence from the Irish Revenue Commissioners regarding my tax obligations. All such correspondence is mailed to my American address.
My property is not registered with PTRB as I have a family member collect the rent.. I received NO notification that the NPPR tax had been imposed on my property until I received a letter from Galway City Council in August 2014 demanding over 4000 euro in back NPPR fees. I was absolutely flabbergasted to receive this letter and immediately contacted GCC to inquire how this tax could have been imposed without notification. This amount was due in total by Aug 31 2014, (2 weeks after receipt of the letter) or the amount increased to over 7000 euro, and if it remained unpaid it was recorded as a levy against my property, only dischargeable upon payment in full, or from sales proceeds if the property was sold within 12 yrs.
I was informed by GCC that it was my duty to make myself aware of this self assessed tax! Subsequently, I learned that the NPPR tax was imposed some 4 years prior; that notification of its imposition was ONLY by publication in local media outlets in Ireland. Accordingly those owners who resided in ROI were duly notified by publication in their local media, and thus were given the opportunity to timely pay the original 200 euro per yr without incurring interest or penalties.
Being an owner residing overseas I was never notified in any fashion until the letter arrived some 4 yrs after the imposition of the first annual payment. I was deprived of the opportunity to timely pay without incurring interest or penalty, similar to the opportunity given to owners residing in ROI. I have never disputed the existence of the tax itself, and once the Irish Revenue took over collection of it, I have paid every yr, on time and without issue.
But I absolutely dispute the discriminatory and unconstitutional manner in which this tax was imposed and how those subject to it were not properly notified. How can anyone be mandated to pay a tax they know absolutely nothing about? How can one segment of owners be given the right to pay on time, without penalty or interest, because they were notified but yet another segment of owners who just happen to live overseas are completely deprived of that right and are never notified? And then to be provided with no appellate rights, no right to dispute, no mitigation- it all just seems so unfair and unreasonable.
To add insult to injury and another layer of discrimination and unconstitutionality is the arbitrary way that overseas owners in Wexford and Meath were given a reprieve of 50% on their back interest and penalty by their local counsels whereas just because my property happened to be located in Galway city I was deprived of this opportunity. Post code lottery should have no place in a government imposed tax which was to be uniformly applied.
There is no place in the Western World that I am aware of that taxation in this manner would be tolerated or deemed constitutional. I have engaged the Office of the Ombudsman of Ireland to intercede in my dispute with GCC. To date this issue remains unresolved. I have offered on several occasions to pay the original underlying tax that I would have paid had I been aware of the obligation. I do not think I should have to pay interest or penalties. I simply want the same opportunity as any owner residing in ROI received- i.e. the right to pay the tax timely once they were made aware of the obligation. To date my offers have been rejected.
Sarah - Galway
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